UEFA's Football Doctor Education Programme (FDEP) sees national associations exchanging invaluable information and expertise in the crucial field of football medicine. Malta is the latest association to host an FDEP seminar as part of the UEFA programme.
Since the start of 2012, crucial know-how has been passed down through the UEFA member associations in a series of cascaded courses, and the seminar was held at the Malta Football Association's (MFA) technical centre at Ta'Qali. It was attended by Malta's national team medical staff and ten doctors from the island’s top-flight clubs.
In today's professional football, the development of football medicine is vital to the well-being of players. Medical teams, including doctors, ambulances, medical room and life-saving equipment, as well as other facilities in this sector, ensure that footballers can avail themselves of specialised ultra-modern medical attention.
UEFA has remained at the vanguard of football medical work, and promotes major initiatives and activities through its Medical Committee headed by chairman Dr Michel D'Hooge. The European governing football body's commitment to football medicine, and the prevention and treatment of injuries through the UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme, is finding a positive response from the European member national associations.
The UEFA FDEP course was prepared by MFA doctor Dr David Attard, and numerous topics were on the agenda. Specialised equipment which is used for the immediate treatment of injuries was demonstrated during the course practical sessions.
The FDEP seminar gave the clear message that the main objective is for footballers to receive the best, safest and most trustworthy medical treatment in order to safeguard their well-being, and the education and information aspect of the UEFA programme again came fully to the fore – football doctors throughout Europe are exchanging and receiving know-how that will not only serve the football medical sector, but also benefit European football as a whole.
"The main teaching emphasis was on practice, particularly with regards to basic life support and dealing with trauma scenarios," said Dr Attard. "Instruction was based on course material provided by UEFA, and we would like to thank UEFA for its assistance in the organisation of the course."
MFA spokesman Franz Tabone spoke to uefa.com about the medical course in Malta. "Education in whatever sphere is imperative. In sport we are witnessing various changes which need to be tackled in a specific manner," said Mr Tabone.
"A football doctor's role is now, more than ever before, an integral function within the clubs, both for health and safety reasons and for the footballers' physical well-being and development. The UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme workshops are run by specialised professionals using the latest training equipment and methods which will benefit football doctors in further enhancing their knowledge to deal with any eventuality both on and off the field of play."
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