His Excellency Dr Faisal Yacob Al Hamer, who heads the Bahrain Ministry of Health, delivered the keynote address to open the event. The theme of this year’s Summit was Medicine in Motor Sport and Dr Faisal spoke on the importance of this subject not just for safety in motor racing but for safety on all our roads.
He said: “Motor sport provides an excellent example of how strict compliance and implementation of safety policies and procedures help to prevent injuries and deaths if accidents occur. The importance of compliance with the rules and regulations to achieve safety on the road cannot be overemphasised.”
The Bahrain Ministry of Health is directly involved in the running of the circuit and provides all the track medical teams, spectator clinics, and public health safety inspections, as well as putting the airport clinic, health centres and major hospitals on alert to deal and cope with any medical emergencies.
With such a central role, Dr Faisal is well-placed to comment about medicine in motor sport and he called on a number of measures to help further improve motor sport medical practice and safety worldwide.
He said: “Providing outstanding medical services during motor sport events is a challenge which we strive to achieve. To do this we need to exchange medical knowledge and experience with professionals around the world. To standardise the medical training programmes to all medical teams around the world. And continue improving adopted safety and medical standards.”
Dr Faisal praised the Summit in focussing on and dealing with these issues. He added: “This FIA Institute Summit will hopefully lead to effective recommendations, suggestions and ideas that shall promote safety, and enhance and upgrade the medical care provided during all motor sport events held worldwide.”
As a recently awarded FIA Institute Centre of Excellence, the Bahrain International Circuit was chosen to play host to this prestigious event. The Summit will simultaneously use medical excellence in motor sport to set a benchmark for medical
excellence in other sports, as well as across the Gulf region.
The event is chaired by FIA Institute President Professor Sid Watkins, with more than 150 senior medical professionals from around the world among the delegation.
Delegates include Formula One drivers Mark Webber and Pedro de la Rosa, representing the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA), senior representatives of racing and rally teams, manufacturers, promoters, circuit administrators and medical practitioners.
The programme features presentations from a number of high-level speakers from the world of motor sport medicine. Steve Olvey MD, with a presentation on the use of ImPACT in professional motor sport, is an associate professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami and a founding Fellow of the FIA Institute. He is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine Motorsports Safety Task Force and a medical consultant to the Indianapolis 500 race.
Dr Michael Henderson, speaking about Trauma reduction in Motor Sport, is Chairman of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Medicine. He has spent his entire professional life in aviation, road and race safety research and administration. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine and the Australian College of Road Safety, and is a member of several international safety associations including the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Other presentations include: the management of noise exposure in motor sport, by senior clinical audiologist Robert Shepheard; dehydration and loss of performance by Professor Jean-Charles Piette, the new FIA Formula One Medical Delegate; and Jet
lag and optimization of performances by Jacques Tropenat, FIA Deputy Director of Medical Affairs.
The event follows the success of the inaugural FIA Institute Safety Summit, which took place at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track and focussed on the subject of Risk Management in Motor Sport.
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