Depts join forces for 2010 SWC

2010-02-19 14:17

Johannesburg – The SA Military Health Services will not take over from the Department of Health during the Soccer World Cup, Deputy Health Minister Molefi Sefularo said on Friday.

He said the department and the SA Military Health Services would tighten their co-operation ahead of the June event.

"The arrangement is aimed at filling any materials or personnel gaps that we may confront during the tournament.

"Please note that this does not amount to a handover to the Military Health Services. We are not preparing for a state of emergency," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at an international football medicine conference in Sun City.

"We are only deepening our capacity and reducing to the barest minimum any chances that we may be surprised or stretched beyond our capacity as the public and private health sector."

He said they would also like to eliminate as much red tape as possible involved in jurisdictional borders amongst national, provincial and local authorities and personnel.

Tighten command lines

"This should tighten our command lines and operational efficiencies. These measures will, in particular, benefit persons who are travelling between the stadia or host cities and their home towns, residential areas or places of accommodation."

He said it was their intention and commitment to create a safe and healthy environment for all visitors during the tournament.

He said South Africa had the best scientists, researches and practitioners in the field of sports medicine.

These experts have at their disposal the best world class facilities and equipment straddling academic centres, public hospitals and private clinics. "I cannot imagine that any of the players may need to be flown out of the country to receive appropriate care to save limb, life or career."

Sefularo said stadiums were 99% ready.

"It is as you move beyond the precincts of the stadia that we found some shortcomings.

"Some of the shortcomings are more due to the additional measures we prescribed following our experience of the FIFA Confederation Cup and some of the observations from the CAF African Nations Cup Tournament held in Luanda, Angola."