Madrid, (EFE). Private sports medicine is booming. Its growth in recent years is indisputable. It has gained importance and made its way into society. Football, athletics, basketball and handball clubs, federations, elite athletes and ordinary fans benefit from a quality of service that is, in some cases, the “best” worldwide.
Spain is growing and so is sports medicine. The training of specialists is constantly evolving. They have been developed to adapt to the needs of sports, which are becoming more entrenched in society and more demanding among professionals. Along with research, technological advances in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of injuries have also arrived.
Clinics such as CEMTRO, the University of Navarra, medical centers such as Olympia de Quirón or Ripoll and the Prado Sport Clinic, specializing in traumatology and orthopedics, represent a step in the evolution of a medicine that is in great demand and for which health insurance is also registered to offer its services to the most demanding user. tracksuit.
But how do these institutions work? How do you organize to find excellence? Three legs underpin his quest for growth: health care, research, and education. Three key actions, as Dr. Pedro Luis Ripoll explained to EFE, are necessary to gain momentum towards high-profile accreditations such as those held by his organization, which has been declared a “medical center of excellence” by FIFA.
International expansion and the search for excellence
In Spain, in addition to Ripoll and Prado Sport Clinic, only CEMTRO Clinic and FC Barcelona Medical Services have this accreditation. They seem to be few, but they are many. Spain, with three medical sports organizations, is the only country, along with the United States, Germany and Japan, to have three in the list of the total 47 centers recognized by the organization headed by Gianni Infantino.
“We strive for excellence and as such we have been accredited as a FIFA Center of Excellence. It is hard to come by. Every five years a series of activities are required to be submitted to FIFA in all areas (assistance, research and education) at a level to renew your accreditation. What we have been doing for many years is research They are looking for the best specialists in the world to bring to Spain, to our centers. They come and work here,” Dr. Ripoll told EFE.
His organization has ten offices distributed mainly along the Mediterranean coast up to Malaga and has important offices in Madrid and Seville. And now, he is on the verge of breaking through internationally. In the summer, it will begin its expansion towards the Arab countries, where it will establish its headquarters. In Dubai and Cairo, there will be Ripoll Centers and the Prado Sport Clinic. Advanced negotiations are opening in Argentina and Saudi Arabia.
And it is that Spanish sports medicine brands are expanding internationally and is an example of work that attracts and generates talent: “Some of the best specialists in the world who have signed a contract with us work in our ten locations. In the ankle is Dr. Nick van Dijk. In tendons and muscles is Dr. Lasse Lempaienen; Dr. Ricardo Casale on the hip; or the French doctor Ripoll in orthopedics. Our institution is characterized by specialization. That is, there are specialized units in each joint. It has employed some of the best specialists in the world, “says Ripoll.
Top-level athletes and footballers from famous Spanish clubs or from outside our borders like Manchester United or Nottingham Forest seek out quality centers like Ripoll and the Prado Sports Clinic. But they are not the only ones. The health privilege of this sports medical center, as in others, is also within the reach of ordinary citizens. In one year, they attend 40,000 consultations and treat 2,000 patients thanks to the work of more than 200 specialists.
But not all patients are part of one of the four professional first and second division teams run directly by the Ripoll Center and the Prado Sports Clinic, which together care for nearly 15,000 athletes. They also have their own insurance that allows 5,000 policies that benefit the citizen.
“Go to our center for an operation, you can do it with an insurance of 50 euros a month. And Van Dijk works on you. It is the doctor’s duty to make the benefits of medicines available to the entire population. This is included in the medical condition. That’s what it is,” says Ripoll.
Reactions between public and private health
The development of new technologies and research not only benefits private medicine. Also to the public. In fact, many professionals who work in the private field also work in the public field. The investigations of one sector and another will benefit each other.
“The population has a friendly relationship with the development of sports medicine and surgery. Sports medicine, if comparison allows, is like Formula 1 racing, where Formula 1 engines and cars are tested and many highly advanced technologies are developed that subsequently benefit the entire population, ” comments Ripoll.
“It would be absurd for a clinic to dedicate itself solely to the care of athletes. We care about the athletes, of course, but the population as a whole benefits from these advances that sports medicine requires because the deadlines and precision that happen in this field is so demanding. This then passes on to its broke cousin.” his shoulder.”
The relationship between citizens and elite athletes with the Ripoll Center and the Prado Sports Clinic is not the only one. There are many specialized institutions, and this week the latest example of collaboration between an entity and a sports medical center was presented. HM Hospitals and the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) have announced a cooperation agreement whereby the hospital group becomes the federation’s new ‘official medical provider’.
From now on, HM Hospitals will be responsible for medical examinations and health coverage for RFEN swimmers, water polo players and jumpers in all their disciplines. Until April 2025, it will be responsible for all medical examinations before international competitions and will establish itself as a reference center for athletes. They will debut in July, when the World Cup finals will be held in Fukuoka (Japan).
Like the rest of the sports medicine centers, HM Hospitals is also trying to attract talent. But, in addition, they think so: “We are committed to training our specialists. To this end, we have the Training Center for Vital Health Professions at HM Hospitals to provide training at the intermediate and higher level. We also have the Faculty of Health Sciences at HM Hospitals affiliated to Camilo José University Cela,” they reported to EFE.
In addition, it has a commitment to research that addresses innovation and adherence to the latest technologies that include artificial intelligence data processing. As in other professional sectors, the competition is strong: “We are newcomers to the world of medical providers for sports federations. It is clear that everyone is trying to gain a foothold in the most efficient way.”
HM Hospitals joins a long list of institutions, centers and clinics that look after the health of elite and amateur athletes. Through research, education, and undeniable quality of care, private institutions have positioned themselves as an important part of athletes’ health. The “boom” of these centers is here to stay. And certainly, to grow more.
Juan Jose Lahuerta
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