Assisting Socceroos in Brazil

Medical advice ahead of the tournament 

A joint venture between International SOS and International Health Care (IHC) provided Football Federation Australia with medical assistance in Brazil. The joint venture was involved in preparing emergency response plans, providing health alerts and also the identification and assessment of suitable hospitals and clinics in the cities where the team was scheduled to play and train.  

Dr Jeff Steinweg, Head of Medical Services at Football Federation Australia said:

“The service provides our doctors, players and delegates with peace of mind should the unexpected happen.  Our membership gives us access to 24/7 medical expertise and the confidence of having a plan B”. In the last five years, the 10 Australian National Teams have travelled to over 50 countries, with the FFA responsible for the health and safety of all travelling players and support staff. Australia’s campaign began in June 2014.

Dr Robert Quigley is Regional Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Assistance for the Americas Region at International SOS: “The service gave the Australian squad access to practical, perhaps critical advice and guidance ahead of the tournament. We provided medical expertise whenever required, using the detailed knowledge our teams have of the healthcare infrastructure in Brazil.” 

Dr Steinweg from Football Federation Australia continued: “We do have medical support from the tournament’s organisers but we welcome the planning and assistance services provided by the service,” Dr Steinweg said. 

Medical advice during an incident 

On a previous trip to Bandung, Indonesia in November 2009, a player with one of the Australian national teams suffered concussion and was unconscious for two minutes. An ambulance came at the match and there was a decision to transport the player to a local medical facility. From the ambulance the team doctor called International SOS, who were able to provide a second opinion on the facility the player was being transported to. We deemed the hospital to be suitable. The player received a CT scan and was managed well. 

“The second opinion provided by the doctors in the International SOS Assistance Centre provided great reassurance to the medical staff travelling with the team.  If a player is injured it is critical that it is optimally managed, or it can severely affect the player’s recovery and career. We take every precaution to protect our players as they travel abroad and this most certainly includes the games in Brazil,” Dr Steinweg said.