2013: the Year of the Schengen-like Thermal Network




Dear collegues,


this newsletter comes at the end of 2013, a year of great importance for our thermal network. On 25th October 2013 the UE Directive 24/2011 has come into force. Starting from this moment all European citizens will be able to freely choose the place of diagnosis and treatment in traditional and thermal healthcare, provided that they are entitled to the same healthcare in their own country without any previous authorization of their home nation.


The two year-conference held in Levico Terme on 19th October 2013, just a few days before the implementation of the EU Directive,  “NEW FRONTIERS OF THE EUROPEAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM - The implementation of the EU legislation n° 2011/24 on  patients' rights for cross-border traditional and thermal healthcare”, aimed to remind the long way initiated  in October 2005 in Levico Terme, during an international convention focused on “the freedom for all EU citizens to freely choose the thermal center where to be cured in the UE” that afterwards developed in a number of conferences and actions - unfortunately without the necessary supporting network, with a unique goal, i.e. the achievement of a dream: establishing  a “Thermal Europe”, presenting the thermal network in the European common market: 27 EU Member States with more than 500 million people.  Please let me remember at this stage the ceaseless commitment of Mr. Paolo Costa and Ms. Iles Braghetto, former MEP’s.


Now we can proudly say that the “Schengen-like Thermal Network” has finally turned into sound reality. We claim this achievement and we do express our deeply satisfaction for that.


2013 is therefore a year to remember as one of the most significant years for our commitment. Such an important success would not have been achieved without your precious contribution.


Please let me express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of you, on behalf of our Board, with my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2014.


                      Andres Campos                                                                 Ennio Gori


SITH President                                                              OMTh President




Europe – Italy


firenze ismhOn 15th March 2013 the OMTh delegation met ISMH President, Prof. Zeki Karagülle (International Society of Medical Hydrology and Climatology) in Florence in order to discuss the state-of-the-art of their current relationships and to coordinate an effective synergetic action for the improvement of scientific thermalism.


prg leonardoPresent at the meeting were Ing. Gori with OMTh Vicepresident, A. Lalli, OMTh Councillors Prof. Stefenelli and Mr. Corsini, Dr. A. Fioravanti and Ms. Marisol Espino, SITh General Secretary.


After a friendly opinions exchange all participants recognized that it was necessary to implement a sinergetic action and therefore they agreed and signed the “Memorandum of Understanding between OMTh and ISMH”. We consider this document as an essential part of our networked commitment for the improvement  of thermalism.








The 4th International Meeting of the  EU project for “Prevention and treatment of aging factors through thermal treatments” implementing the Leonardo Program established in the EU financial supported “Life Long Learning Program (2007-2013)” took place on 6th June 2013 at the Montecatini Thermal Baths.  Four partners are involved in this project: Terme di Montecatini (Italy), Pisa University (Italy), Cuntis Thermal Baths (Spain) and Techirghiol Thermal Baths (Romania).




The seminar held in Montecatini was the final one and its conclusions will be shared with the whole thermal scientific community.




In his speech, President Gori expressed the great satisfaction of OMTh - that was strongly committed to the implementation of this project – for the success of this initiative involving the scientific contribution of three different countries.


He also assured the effective support of OMTh to other similar future initiatives.








The Euregio Working Group gathered between 6th Dec. 2012 and 10th January 2013 in order to prepare for the  “First day about thermalism studies and research within the Euregio” – Tirol-South Tyrol-Trentino”  that was held on 28th February at Terme di Comano, in Trentino.


The meeting was highlighted with the signing of the “Memorandum of Understanding” on cooperation and enhancement of thermal resources in the Euregio by the regional health councillors Ugo Rossi, (Trentino), Richard Theiner, (South Tyrol),  Bernard Tilg, (Tirol).


The essential element of  this Memorandum is the fact that the Euregio was the first and only one European cross-border region letting its citizens to freely access to the thermal healthcare treatments within its own territory long before the EU Directive nr. 2011/24, came into force in October 2013.


OMTh  was strongly committed to achieve this result.


On the occasion of the roundtable “Thermalism perspectives within the Euregio”, OMTh President, Ing. Gori expressed his great satisfaction for this success. He also stated once more that the possibility to freely access to the thermal care and treatments in the thermal baths situated in the Euregio represents an “added value” for the Euregio in the development and in the growth of its own thermal network. This achievement will allow OMTh to spread its contents in the various geographical areas, as an effective example of innovative thermal policy and of the “new model of thermalism” developed by OMTh in its conferences. The Working Group met further on 27th June, 18th July and 12th September at the EURAC headquarters in Bolzano. The next meeting is scheduled in January 2014. The Group is currently processing the guidelines of future thermalism developments  within the Euregio, in order to start with an innovative and original offer.


OMTh is obviously very interested in the further development of this stage due to be concluded with a Convention scheduled on 26th October 2014 in Meran.




International Convention – “New Frontiers of the European Healthcare System” – 19th October 2013 – Levico Terme.


termelevicoThis edition of the two year-conference, aiming to examine the state-of-the-art of the EU Directive nr. 2011/24 (“Implementation of the patient’s rights to cross-border healthcare”), was structured in order to let all participants know about the operative methods allowing to get the most of the chances created by this EU Directive. It was also an opportunity to explore the state-of- the-art of scientific research in Europe, new recommendations for thermal treatments and current thermal therapies existing in the various geographical areas.


The participants – i.e. conference speakers and Italian representatives of politics and of healthcare institutions were 23.  Günther Leiner, member and Past President of the EHFG/WHO “Europäisches Gesundheitsforum”  from Austria, Prof. Zisis Angelidis, President of the Greek Union of Thermalism and Ms. Iles Braghetto, former MEP, were not able to come but nevertheless they sent their contributions. 


The foreign guest speakers were:


cong1 cong2 cong3






Hans Kütbach – Vice-President of the German Spas Federation/Association. Vice-President of ESPA, European  Association of Thermal Baths and President of the Federation of Schleswig-Holstein Thermal Baths (D).




Leonardo Campanelli – Austria Director of the National Tourism Agency (ENIT) of Vienna.




Zeki  Karagulle  -  President of ISMH (International Society of Medical Hydrology).




Andres Campos -  President of SITH (International Society of Hydro-mineral Technologies) and Cuntis Thermal Baths (Spain)




Lavinin Munteanu – President of OMTH-SITH Romania.




Iztok  Altbauer – Director of the Slowenian Thermal Association.






Fabio Lazzerini – Vice-President of OMTH and Scientific Director of Sociedade Brasilera do Termalismo (SBT)






Jeff Wang Jie -  CEO of Hacone Hot Spring & spa investment consulting (Chinese holding).


Thanks to the distinguished speakers participating to the conference it was possible to analyze the state-of-the-art of thermalism in the various geographical areas, particularly Europe, that was identified as “a model for thermalism”.


Opening the session “Thermal therapies in Europe and in the world” OMTh President, Ing. Gori, reminded once more that the conference date had been fixed intentionally on 19th October 2013, just one week before 25th October 2013, when EU Directive 24/2011 was due to come into force.


The long way started in October 2005 in Levico Terme, with an International Convention focused on the “free choice of the thermal center where to get the necessary thermal therapies for all EU citizens” and its later developments and initiatives has finally come to an end.


Our dream, the so called “Thermal Europe”, has been accomplished. We can now celebrate the “Schengen-like Thermalism”, or when utopia becomes reality.


Lots of italy thermal resorts participated to the conference: among them, Terme del Trentino (Levico-Comano-Pejo-Rabbi), Sirmione, Bormio, Salsomaggiore, Montecatini, Chianciano, Casciana Terme, Terme di Ischia.


On behalf of ANCOT – Italian Association of Thermal Municipalities – doctor Maria Pia Borsellini and doctor Giuseppe Bellandi, Mayor of Montecatini Terme and Vice-President of the European Association of Thermal Resorts participated to the conference. 


The convention has been a great success, with many eminent participants; during the different sessions more than 150 people were on the floor.


Please visit our website to download all the contributions of the conference speakers.


In his conclusions, Ing. Gori, expressed his gratitude to all the distinguished speakers - specially to those coming from far located countries -  and to all participants and he resumed all the innovative and original issues from the various experiences set out in the reports and during the discussion. These topics will be the guidelines for the future work of OMTh and will be shared with thermalists in all geographical areas. He also expressed his wish to meet everybody again at the “Levico 2015” Convention.






25th-26th May 2013 – Edipsos. OMTh Councillor, doctor Pier Francesco Bernacchi, participated on behalf of OMTh to the convention of the Greek Association of Thermalism.


In his statement he complained the lack of the Greek legislator in the thermalism sector and underlined that a specific national legislation is necessary in order to implement in the Greek national law the EU Directive on  patients' rights for cross-border traditional and thermal healthcare.  He also fostered the contacts with the representatives of Greek thermalism and the Greek Ministry of Tourism.








cong4Our Brazil delegation, under the effective and eminent leadership of OMTh President, Fabio Lazzerini, Scientific Director of SBT, was involved in a lot of initiatives, as listed below.








  1. In Brazil thermalism is considered as a part of CAM – Complementary Alternative Medicine – OMTh participated to the “Meeting of North East States on Complementary Integrative Medecine (PICsNE);  building up a healthcare model”.

  2. As thermal tourism is rapidly growing – also because of two forthcoming important sport events (Football World Championship and Olympic games), OMTh cooperated with the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism and the SBT in order to define the basic guidelines due to support Health and Wellness Tourism.

  3. 2013 was declared as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, in order to promote actions to protect water resources on Earth.

    On the occasion of the World Water Day (22nd March 2013) a special report titled “Bio molecule H2O” was presented during the Water Week Festival in the famous thermal resort Aguas de Lyndoia/SP.                                  

  4. OMTh decided to participate to the CET-Water Project, a technical cooperation over the next 5 years including cross-sectional research and various initiatives  regarding water.

    Other political institutions involved in the project to be mentioned: Brazilian Ministry for Environment (MMA), National Agency of Water (ANA), the Brasilia University (UNB), the Federal University of Santa Caterina (UFSC), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).




ASIA -  People’s Republic of China




 29th – 30th April 2013 - Chonging


OMTh councillor, doctor Pier Francesco Bernacchi, participated to a meeting organized by the Chinese Thermal Association , “Chinese Hot Springs Tourism Association”.


Bernacchi was there on behalf of OMTh and started interesting relationships aiming to promote an intense cooperation with the Chinese partners.




mery1 mery2



Newsletter December 2013 Omth.pdf




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