Two health organizations have been accredited as FIFA Medical Centers of Excellence, the first in Thailand and the ASEAN region.
The two organizations are Bangkok Hospital Medical Center and the College of Sports Science and Technology at Mahidol University.
They were recently presented with certificates from FIFA Chief Medical Officer Professor Jiri Dvorak at Bangkok Hospital in the inauguration ceremony, presided over by the Vice Minister for Sports and Tourism, Sombat Kuruphan.
Thailand is the third country in Asia, after Japan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, to have been named a FIFA Medical Center of Excellence. FIFA, or Fédération Internationale de Football Association, has set up a worldwide network of Medical Centers of Excellence to ensure that players have access to high-quality football medicine.
So far, 26 football medicine centers have received the official accreditation after an evaluation by the FIFA Medical Committee. This selection is based upon a comprehensive application process to prove their clinical, educational, and research expertise, their practical involvement in the care of teams, and their active commitment to preventing injuries.
Since accreditation is granted for a period of five years before new accreditation is granted, both Bangkok Hospital Medical Center and the College of Sports Science and Technology at Mahidol University will need to constantly upgrade their medical standards in order to retain the status of FIFA Medical Centers of Excellence.
Mahidol University, in particular, has expanded courses in sports science up to the doctorate degree under an international program. It has also conducted research in physical development and compiled statistics on injuries in football and other sports on a continual basis. The university has constantly presented results of its research and studies to FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.
Dr. Chatree Duangnet, Chief Executive Officer of Bangkok Hospital, said that football has become the most popular sport in the world, with more than 600 million viewers worldwide. Football players and their coaches need knowledge of sports science to improve their performance.
Modern facilities and equipment, as well as internationally qualified medical doctors, nurses, and technical staff, are considered advantageous as Thailand promotes itself as a first-class destination for health care. The country is known to offer top-quality medical treatment at a reasonable cost, comparable to anywhere else in the world. To date, many hospitals have been recognized and approved as meeting the standards set for the Hospital Accreditation of Thailand and international standards, such as ISO.