The Polyclinic is Getting Busier


Today was a busy day at the Polyclinic. More and more people now know what’s available here. Dentistry is very busy as is the Optometrist especially with the Eastern Block countries. Physio and massage are booked regularly and appointments at Radiology (Xray), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and CT scanning are getting busier. Along with athletes in the Village sent by their team doctors and training staff, IOC officials and their guests are often sent in by the medical staff at the hotels where they are staying. They are known as Olympic Family and are treated with great hospitality by the host country.

As well as athletes and their friends arriving for this and that, there are many country delegations that come in to see the Operations and meet the providers and organizers of the Polyclinic. One of the groups visiting today was from the UK. I spoke with one of the doctors who is responsible for setting up the 2012 Summer Games healthcare services. He was surprised to know that we are all volunteers and very interested in our reasons for volunteering for this assignment.

We had our official photo take today by the Village photographers and videographers. It was surprising to see how many people are involved in the running of the Polyclinic on any given day. When we were asked to step outside for the photos –it was a lovely sunny afternoon in the Village – I was amazed there were so many of us. I didn’t have a chance to count but there were more than 25 people who appeared.

One of the Assessment Suites

The footprint of the clinic itself is large and people are quite spread out around the space. On any given day, there are 4 nurses, 2 admin staff, 2 doctors – one a sports med specialist – 3 physios, 2 massage, 1 chiropractor, occasionally one acupuncturist, a radiologist and 3 techs in the diagnostic imaging, 2 lab techs, 2 dentists and 3 assistants, an optometrist and several ambulance personnel. As well there are lists of on-call specialists from every discipline willing to come in to see special cases when needed – all on a volunteer basis. Next door to us is the anti-doping centre with its own staff and quite secretive operations. On the other side is the athletes’ gym.

On a humorous note, we have a basket sitting on a table between the clinic and the gym. The basket contains a variety of donated give-aways such as toothpaste and floss, hand cream, sanitizer and such, as well as condoms in red packages. Needless to say the condoms are refilled regularly. Rumor is that there were 100,000 made available to VANOC at the beginning of the Games. I know we are doing our part to go through a large share of that number!

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