Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana
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The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has admitted the country still lacks the capacity when it comes to sports medicine, as preparations for the hosting of the Pacific Games 2023 continues.

Minister Culwick Togamana told this paper that despite the Solomon Islands National Sports Institution (SINIS) providing the sporting services, there are still no plans forthcoming for preparing the manpower with less than two years left on the calendar.

SINIS under the Sol2023 National Hosting Authority (NHA) will operate a sport medicine clinic in liaison with the health department and SINU staff to provide work experience and opportunities to grow the capacity of local physios, nutritionists, psychologists and community rehab    

“SINU don’t have the capacity otherwise there’s request from NHA to provide these trainings. For the meantime we just have those in the nursing school, they are not experts to deal with such specific area,” Minister Togamana said.

“We are awaiting request on NHA before we can roll out plans in this regard. It’s the responsibility of NHA to begin preparation also on these important issues when it comes to major sporting events but so far there are no plans we received.

Outspoken medical practitioner, Dr Claude Posala when asked for his professional opinion admits there is a need for due to the lack of human resource on the area of sports.

“We currently don’t have any doctors or nurses trained and qualified in formal sports medicine,” Dr. Posala says.

“Our physiotherapists usually cover on these gap areas. Some doctors and nurses learn on the ground so to speak about sports medicine but no one ever went for a formal training and is equipped with qualifications as a sports medicine specialist.

“Sports medicine is a separate training program separate from medicine for doctors and training for nurses.

“The need of sports medicine is a question that is debatable in the setting of Solomon Islands where there are other health areas which still are priority areas and still lack manpower.

“It would be great to have sports medicine specialists locally, however this is debatable as I have mentioned,” Posala adds.