Professional Contact Sports – should the Health Services cover them fully?

Update 3rd Feb 2015. Comparable figures for risk of sporting activities is in these two files.

Spinal injuries                                                        NEXUS

As I post this update 13 of the first England 15 are injured for the International on Friday evening.. 

Should the Health Services, at a time of financial bankruptcy, still cover professional contact sports? With the 6 Nations about to be broadcast it might be time to review our approach. How many players are not available due to injury at the beginning, and how many at the end? Being inactive is equally dangerous, but there is no need to compete in contact sports, there are plenty of other options. The Roman Games demanded more and more dramatic competitions… are we going the same way?

Brain Damage cartoons, Brain Damage cartoon, funny, Brain Damage picture, Brain Damage pictures, Brain Damage image, Brain Damage images, Brain Damage illustration, Brain Damage illustrations

The Economist article: Violence in sport indicates that both parents and the public might be wising up to the risks. Co-payments by way of club insurance policies are one option, and the sports that deliberately target the human body should be the first ones to be re-examined. Deserts based rationing demands there is some co-payment. What should we do about the high risk non contact sports such as Cycling, Skiing, Rock Climbing or Parachuting/Bungee Jumping? NHSreality feels all sports should have insurance now that we are re-examining the costs of our health.

Boxing (of course) – covered by the New Scientist in August 2013 (Ban boxing – it’s demeaning and dangerous – New Scientist) and the medical journal repeatedly.


American Football


Danger of boys’ rugby exposed. Should participants in sporting activities be insured or face co-payments?

Cyclists, disability wheelchairs, and all dog, cat and exotic pet owners should be insured, licensed and registered

Professional Rugby: the price we all pay. Co-payments or insurance are needed..

Couch Potatoes deserve deserts based rationing..



This entry was posted in A Personal View on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

5 thoughts on “Professional Contact Sports – should the Health Services cover them fully?

  1. Lomond Handley

    What about sexually transmitted diseases ? They could be defined as ‘contact sports’ and may also include some children who are under the age of consent, as well as adults, many of whom , may have contracted some very unpleasant illnesses and conditions, all of, which need urgent and expensive treatment.

    Such cases involving children as well as adults, cost our NHS large amounts of money and many cases are repeated in those patients, who get these STD’s more than once, which can damage their reproductive organs and make the patients sterile, especially if their fallopian tubes are damaged.

    These patients may need complex and expensive treatment if they want children and the cost of repairing their damaged reproductive organs caused by their sexual habits or behaviour could be perceived to be prohibitive.

    Of course there are many, many patients with damage or diseased reproductive organs, whose sexual behaviour is not responsible for their illnesses or conditions and it would be utterly wrong to suggest that it is.

    Nevertheless, there are cases where sexual behaviour and infected contacts have resulted in infections or diseases, all of which have to be treated.

    So, what’s the answer ? I don’t know and who am I to judge ?

  2. Pingback: Grieving for the NHS. The softer specialities and locums. Ration for higher earners, and where insurance could cover. | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  3. Pingback: Brain injuries from contact sports – should these be covered by the Health Service? | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  4. Pingback: Too many Rugby World Cup injuries? | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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