Aspetar, the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, achieved exceptional achievements throughout 2022, assuming global leadership in various medical and scientific fields, excellence in research, and the development of first-of-its-kind treatment and surgical technics in the region. Aspetar has positioned itself as a global leader in sports medicine, it was explained in a statement.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, concluded a full year of achievements for Aspetar as the facility provided comprehensive medical services to sports stars, led by a highly qualified medical staff, which was praised by the various participating countries and guests of FIFA. Aspetar was the only specialist sports medicine healthcare institution to provide athlete services to all 32 visiting teams, team delegations, and FIFA VIPs. Aspetar's services in the World Cup were characterised by three main parts. The first was the conversion of the main hospital to a polyclinic to receive all requests, operating around the clock. Second was the use of Aspetar's medical staff, who work in clubs and sports federations in Qatar and as a part of the National Sports Medicine Programme, and provide their services in training centres, as well as the hotels of participating delegations.
The third part was the establishment of the recovery centre, specifically designed to anticipate the needs of athletes with short turnaround times in between each match. This included the use of the latest recovery technology and spaces for treatment and active recovery for large groups. During the World Cup, more than 160 athletes and patients benefited from Aspetar's services at least once at the Aspetar polyclinic dedicated to treating athletes, compared to 400 requests and medical consultations. The number of those treated on a daily basis reached 16 players participating in the tournament and about 30 requests per day during peak time of the tournament.
More than 120 MRIs were completed across the tournament. Thanks to a new technology implemented, the medical teams of each player undergoing imaging received a digital audiovisual format of the radiology report which was also available in five different languages. This was the first time such a technology was used in a World Cup and in the region. In terms of external services provided by Aspetar to the participating teams and delegations, 52 medical staff were seconded from Aspetar during the tournament, with an average of more than 2,000 hours of physiotherapy, medical, nursing and massage therapy provided at the request of six teams participating in the tournament.
During the tournament, 16 medical clinics were handed over to 16 visiting teams to be used during the World Cup, while more than 60 pieces of Aspetar’s equipment were loaned to training sites and hotels to support the visiting teams. The Recovery Centre, dedicated to participating teams at Aspetar, was used more than 200 times by athletes during the tournament, with Australia and Morocco being the most users of the hospital facilities. More than 800 servings of fresh recovery drinks and sports nutrition functional items were dispensed from the Aspetar Sports Nutrition Corner to the team members to help with muscle recovery.
As for the scientific and research aspects, Aspetar, in co-operation with FIFA, conducted a research study on injuries and diseases during the World Cup, in addition to other research studies on brain and heart concussions to be used to make appropriate decisions in the upcoming world competitions. This year, Aspetar achieved a new milestone, with the renewal of International Olympic Committee (IOC) accreditation as part of a network of global research centres in the field of athlete health and injury prevention, which include only 11 medical centres in the world. This confirms Aspetar’s global medical position as a leading centre in the field of sports medicine,
Aspetar is one of the few medical and research centres in the world accredited by the IOC for athletes' health and injury prevention and now it has been extended for an additional four years. This is the second time Aspetar has got renewed its accreditation since it was first granted in 2014. Aspetar is one of the rare hospitals in the world to be accredited by the world's largest sports bodies such as IOC and FIFA and the only one in the Middle East and North Africa region to receive this feat. Aspetar has been awarded the official Accreditation Canada Diamond Level Status. Re-accredited at Diamond Level until Nov 2024, Aspetar became the first healthcare organisation in the world to achieve a perfect score on Version 4 of the Qmentum International Standards.
Aspetar researchers have published more than a thousand research articles reviewed by specialised academics, an average of 150 research studies per year, since the establishment of the research division in 2008. Aspetar staff members have published more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles, with an average of 150 research studies every year, since the Aspetar Research Department was established in 2008. Aspetar has medically screened more than 18,000 athletes from all around the world and continuously analyses the data to identify specific interventions to safeguard athletes.
Aspetar this year issued the first-of-its-kind clinical guideline to address Ramadan fasting and exercise for healthy individuals. Aspetar's surgeons were able to use a first-of-its-kind technique for the treatment and restoration of knee cartilage, making the hospital the first medical institute in the region to use this technique. They recently performed a complete joint replacement, a first in Qatar, to treat arthritis. Earlier this year, Aspetar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Primary Health Care Corporation for a Primary Care Sports Medicine partnership, advancing both parties’ commitment to education and excellence in clinical services.
Aspetar has also signed a co-operation agreement with Hamad Medical Corporation's Heart Hospital to establish a fellowship in the Sports Cardiology Programme. Another MoU was signed with World Innovation Summit for Health, a Qatar Foundation initiative, to strengthen ties in healthcare, education, and research, with Aspetar being among the partners and sponsors of this year.
Internationally, Aspetar collaborated with the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford to deliver the Hip Injury Symposium for Young Athletes held in September at Worcester College, Oxford (London). Aspetar also holds dozens of scientific conferences regularly.