ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 52

A doctor in attendance should be made mandatory

By Bernie Wijesekera

This is the third occasion that a player succumbed on a rugby field. First it was Wijesinghe of Jawatte ‘Lions’ Followed by Hemantha Lakshmeewa that outstanding player from Police SC. Few days ago 29-year-old Suranga Jayakody of CH and FC bade farewell to life suddenly on the field.

What has the clubs schools, Provincial Unions done to overcome this sad unseen eventuality in sports? What sort of medical attention is provided from the touchline? Put aside a doctor even an experienced para medic to attend on an injured player or a vehicle at beck and call to rush an afflicted to hospital.

Today rugby is a rough and tumble professional game played worldwide. However it seem that scant respect is challenged towards the player health while at play. If proper medicare is available at hand this risk factor may become trifle.

Importantly, there should be no more fatalities in this sport. Or risk of permanent disability. An injury to a lad from Royal College was one good example. He did well to overcome the injury, but permanently disabled. However he later turned out to be a famed painter.
The authorities should take serious note -- especially the Ministry of Sports. The ministry should get its act-together to halt the recurring serious injuries to sportsmen by way of introducing a medical guide.

Apparently some senior officials of the Sports Ministry are more concerned in globe-trotting than looking into areas that are found wanting. The present Minister of Sports Gamini Lokuge should make them to work for the right reasons. According to sources the Ministry of Health, headed by Minister Nimal Siripala Silva with the support of the university is taking steps to make it mandatory and statutory that doctors are present at matches. Indeed this is a welcome move.

Major Gen. (Dr.) C. Thurairaja --. the internationally recognized expert on sport injuries. Dr. ‘Thurai’ made The Sunday Times aware that twenty such doctors are undergoing a training course at the Post Graduation Institution of Medicine. He is the co-ordinator of this project. He said “Sports need more qualified doctors and paramedics. They must be on standby. A delay may perhaps being the difference between recovery and permanent injury.

Rugby Union Boss, DIG Nimal Lewke said, “no game should commence without a doctor in attendance. Apparently this is not happening. A doctor in attendance at rugby should be made mandatory”.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.