Athletes’ Polyclinic beats record of appointments

Location at the Athletes Village registers 900 patients per day and surpasses London 2012; odontology and ophthalmology are the most requested services.

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3.500 square metres, 160 rooms and a team that involves 180 professionals. All of that to take care of the athletes and members of the 205 delegations who are staying at the Athletes Village for the competition at the Rio 2016 Games. And the Polyclinic has been having so much success that this edition of the Games has already broken the record of daily attendances. In one day, around 900 appointments were registered in all available areas, surpassing the mark of 650 of the London edition in 2012. Athletes from African countries who are in vulnerable situation are the ones who attend the location the most, but athletes from developed nations also drop by.

At the Village Polyclinic, it is possible to take advantage of practically all areas of medicine, from gynaecology to general clinic services. An image centre with x-ray devices, tomography and magnetic resonance help on the diagnosis. There are also rooms for physical therapy, cryotherapy and massage, as well as others directed to recovery from lesions.

But none of the services mentioned above is as sought after as ophthalmology and odontology. In a chat with Rio2016.com, João Grangeiro, director of the Rio 2016 Committee Medical Services, revealed that the team was impressed with the seriousness of some situations. Without revealing the country, the doctor said the team got to help on a case of near-blindness of a delegation leader.

“The truth is that the Olympic Games have some delegations from countries that live in quite delicate situations. A member from Cameroon, for example, came in here and stared at everything. I asked if he needed something and he said he only wanted to do a check-up, since the access to quality medicine in his country is very expensive. We did all exams and were granted a smile of satisfaction that is thrilling. Here we proportionate something they can’t get in their countries with impressive quality and structure”, he affirmed.

Right ahead of sight-care is the odontology service. This Sunday (14), day of visitation of Rio2016.com to the location, the queue of athletes and members from delegations seeking medical appointments with dentists was bigger – around 120 daily appointments. Besides basic treatments, a detail draws attention. The area has production of mouth protectors. In other words, the athlete goes there, does the shaping of his teeth and hours later receives a personalized protector with the colours of his choice. Around 100 are produced every day.

It’s important to stress that they are not here just because the service is free, but because we are good in what we do. If somebody came in here and reported a bad service, I doubt people would come on the following day”, said Grangeiro.

Part of the clinic’s equipment was made available by companies sponsoring the Games. GE has supplied the magnetic resonance and radiography machines, imported from countries such as the USA and Germany. P&G is responsible for odontology equipment. After the Games, the equipment will be donated to the public health net.

“This will be our legacy”, concluded Grangeiro.

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