OMTh NEWSLETTER JULY 2018
in this newsletter you’ll find a summary of the most important events taking place in this period all over the world.
The most recent initiatives launched by OMTh include the Meeting held on 6th January 2018 in Rabat-Morocco. On that occasion concrete cooperation relationships have been established between Morocco and the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa on the basis of the European experience and model for the spa sector.
The event was honoured with the participation of authoritative representatives of the Moroccan Government.
In Latin America as well, our widespread presence is effectively boosting the grow of the spa sector in the area.
In Italy, we hope that in the new parliamentary term the legislative proposal will be adopted that was brought before the Chamber of Representatives of the Italian Parliament by the Member of Italian Parliament, Edoardo Fanucci. The proposal aimed to relaunch the spa offer in the country and contains innovative proposals for the development of the spa business along with its substantial funding.
If the initiative will be successful, it shall be introduced and proposed also in the other EU Countries.
Ennio Gori – OMTh President
Andres Campos - SITh President
EUROPE - ITALY
23-24 June 2018 - “Spa Resorts Open Days in the Province of Trento”
For the second year running the Associazione delle Terme del Trentino (Trentino Spas Association) has organised the “Spa Resorts Open Days” with the aim of promoting the exploitation of health good practices. The 2018 topic proposed by the Scientific Committee of the Association - made up of the resident doctors of the medical spa centres - were the assessment and prevention measures regarding several risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. The prevention initiative entitled “Prenditi a cuore il tuo cuore e non solo” (Take charge of your heart health and much more) focused on some risk factors and was held at all the spa facilities in Trentino. It was completely free and it addressed all the local inhabitants and tourists in the Province of Trento.
OMTh has committed itself to the success of the initiative and its Vicepresident, Dr. Carlo Stefenelli attended the meeting held on 23 June 2018 at the spa headquarters in Levico delivering a very appreciated speech.
PROMOTION OF THE EUGANEAN SPA RESORTS (ABANO AND MONTEGROTTO TERME) AMONG THE MEMBERS OF GERMAN RHEUMA LIGA
THE STRATEGY OF AQUAEHOTELS CONSORTIUM
The German association RHEUMA LIGA is one of the largest voluntary organization in the health sector in Germany. The association was founded in 1970 and counts about 300.000 individual members in the whole country. Its members are people suffering from an acute or chronic rheumatic disease. The association Rheuma Liga is based in Bonn, where its head office coordinates the activities at national level, as well as 19 individual regional or sectoral associations. During the year Rheuma Liga organises several initiatives, such as campaigns for the improvement of medical treatment and of psychological and social support, initiatives improving the quality of life for people with RMDs and actions aiming to raising the awareness about rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). It also promotes the incorporation of research advances into everyday practice and fights for the recognition of the needs of people with RMDs.
First, Aquaehotels consortium identified its relevant interlocutors at Rheuma Liga Association and they organised a promotional event in Abano / Montegrotto, in close partnership with Rheuma Liga and involving people suffering from RMD’s.
Aquaehotels started mapping all the regional offices of Rheuma Liga, and after an initial telephone call was able to identify its relevant interlocutors. In this promotional project not only the central office of the association played a remarkable role, but also the Rheuma Liga offices offering a ‘Reise-Service’ proved to be an important factor for success, as they are already well-structured for supporting their members with the organization of travels to spa or rehabilitation facilities.
Aquaehotels carried out visits in person to the five Rheuma Liga offices with a ‘Reise-Service’ that - after an initial telephone call - showed to be very interested in a cooperation with Terme di Abano / Montegrotto.
During the visits, the Aquaehotels staff involved in the project presented the promotional objectives and the studies about the anti-rheumatic properties of mud packs. The staff also proposed a cooperation as follows:
- Organising a presentation event for Terme di Abano / Montegrotto in Germany, inviting the members of all Rheuma Liga offices.
- Organising an event about “spa treatments and RMD’s” in Germany, in cooperation between Rheuma Liga and Terme di Abano / Montegrotto, inviting the association members in order to highlight the healing properties of the Euganean mud as well as the benefits associated with a thermal treatment in this area.
- Abano / Montegrotto Terme participation to one or more already scheduled events in the Rheuma Liga calendar, presenting their spa treatments and resorts.
Following all the necessary arrangements and interviews and in accordance with the contact persons at Terme di Abano / Montegrotto it was agreed that the greatest promotional effects could be achieved participating to two events scheduled in the Rheuma Liga calendar, i.e.:
- Rheuma Liga autumnal meeting on 26 August 2017 in Bad Sulza
- Rheuma Tag (Rheumatic Diseases Day) on 2 September 2017 in Bad Klosterlausnitz
THE PROMOTIONAL EVENTS
Including the Abano presentation in the already scheduled events would increase the importance and the authoritativeness of the information about the spa centres enhancing people to visit the Terme di Abano e Montegrotto. This because of a greater identification between both Italian spa resorts and Rheuma Liga that enjoys an excellent reputation among its members.
The first event, on 26 August, was a refresher course for the Directors of the Rheuma Liga regional and sectoral groups. In this case, the target groups were not the patients, but the volunteers coordinating the various activities addressed to Rheuma Liga RMD’s patients. Presenting the information about mud therapies to this target group has brought significant advantages because it allowed to raise the awareness and knowledge of the Terme di Abano / Montegrotto among the people working everyday with RMD’s patients and advising them on the available activities and therapies to improve their quality of life. The event was attended by approx. 80 people but considering their role as advisors, the real effect is likely to increase in number, as every Director coordinates groups made up of 10 to 100 members.
During the event on 26 August a speaker from Padua University (Prof. Cozzi) was selected to present to Rheuma Liga Directors the outcomes of the studies aiming to reveal the efficacy of Euganean Hills mud pack treatment in RMD’s patients. During the presentation the treatments & stay options in Abano and Montegrotto were also outlined, as well as information about the geographical area and its proximity to sites and towns of touristic and cultural interest. Aqueahotels Consortium chose to provide a complete presentation, explaining not only the scientific aspects of mud healing properties but also the advantages related to the territory, thus promoting not only the therapeutic benefits but also the pleasure of staying in Italy. This second element has proved to be very important, as it suits the holiday preferences of German tourists that enjoy their holidays in Italy, even if not for health and curative purposes. The wine and food tradition of the territory has also been highlighted. All the participants received a gift made up of marketing material and some samples of typical local products (it was not possible to organise a tasting session with gastronomic specialties as it is strictly prohibited by the regulation of the event location).
The event on 2 September was attended by many more - approx. 600 - people. There were both RMD’s patients and people not suffering from the disease, but nonetheless very interested in prevention and care. This second event was a new occasion to present the spa resorts, with contents similar to the ones of 26 August, when the presentation was held by healthcare professional Carp Parfimon. The second presentation was not just a replication of the first one but it also provided integrative information, as the target group was different. This presentation was attended by approx. 140 RMD’s patients.
RESULTS OF THE PROMOTION
The promotion carried out on 26 August and 2 September had not only positive effects improving the dissemination of information about Abano / Montegrotto and raising awareness among a thousand of potential clients (number calculated on the basis of the participants to the event on 2 September and on the basis of the number of flyers distributed to the Directors of local groups for their members on 26 August) and among all the 5.000 members of Rheuma Liga Thuringia but it also put in place the foundations for an effective collaboration with Rheuma Liga Thuringia that will last even after the project, ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the actions already established.
On the occasion of both events the cooperation has been defined as follows:
- Agreement with Rheuma Liga Thuringia for the promotion and management of a care package in Abano/Montegrotto to be proposed to the association members.
It will be a 14 days long package including also guided tours in the nearby cities (e.g. Padua, Venice, Verona). ADA hotels will be the preferred option. Rheuma Liga shall promote the package among its members and collect the bookings. Terme di Abano / Montegrotto will cover travel arrangements and provide support for reservation.
- Promotional trips for Rheuma Liga Thuringia local groups
The Directors of the Rheuma Liga Thuringia local groups will organise 3-4 days promotional trips to Abano / Montegrotto for their members. They are 3 - 4 local groups, each one with 10 - 12 members. During these trips the patients will have the opportunity to learn more about the healthcare treatment options offered in Abano / Montegrotto and they will be encouraged to book their medical spa treatments there.
The prestigious International MARCIAL CAMPOS Award for Scientific Research will be delivered during a solemn ceremony on 6 October 2018 in Santiago de Compostela.
“Outpatient provision in spas and health resorts”
Health cure – or as defined by law as an “outpatient precautionary measure” (according to § 23 Abs. 2 SGB V), is generally associated by the population with a variety of positive emotions. The medical health cure is used especially for chronic diseases and needs a number of prerequisites to be successful. The basic requirement is that sufficient time is needed for spa treatments to have lasting effects. Also important are a change of location and milieu and an at least temporary change in habits, which will lead to a sustainable improvement of life even after the treatment. A goal of the health cure is the strengthening of the personal responsibility of the patients in the sense of an improvement of their health competence. However, these skills are unequally represented in the population. All the more important therefore is the demand for equal access of all insured persons to the benefits under § 23, par. 2 SGB V, – according to a return of the benefit entitlement to a compulsory service. The WHO holds chronic diseases such as Diabetes, respiratory diseases and obesity are largely preventable and calls accordingly for effective prevention and control measures. Preventive measures also reduce the consequential costs for society caused by chronic diseases. Applied prevention in spas and health resorts have been shown to reduce the consequences of the disease. There is often even a cure or at least a relief of chronic diseases. In addition, health cures integrate state-of-the-art holistic concepts whose positive effects can be determined even months later.
Health cures are popular. The number of patients and guests in spas and health resorts in Germany is steadily rising. The reasons for this are the high medical quality that is valued worldwide and the unique predication of spas and health resorts in Europe as a valuable quality indicator. However, the increase in the number of guests in 2017 is mainly attributable to patients and guests from abroad. One reason for this is the continuously decreasing number of health cures that are covered by the statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, GKV). Only 66% of the proposed preventive measures are approved by the GKVs. The number of rejected contradictions is also high at 36%. As a result, not all insured persons today have equal access to the services of the spas. The rising number of guests is due to the general appreciation of the health cure – and are also being increasingly funded by the patients themselves. The expenditures of the GKV for prevention and rehab together amount to only approx. 2.5% of their total budget, whereby prevention and precaution should be promoted by law according to Flexi-pension-law and according to prevention law. The correlations make it clear that outpatient precautionary measures in accordance with § 23, par. 2 SGB V - the health cure - must be returned to the status of compulsory service because the statutory health insurance scheme will not voluntarily provide remedies. Because only as a compulsory service, which is given to the payers, it will allow all insured the same opportunities and the same access to these valuable health services.
Some facts: More than 3 million citizens receive state-of-the-art medical care at the highest level every year in state-certified spas and health resorts. The spas and health resorts strengthen medical care in rural areas and thus make a contribution to ensuring nationwide medical care.
Congress “The Spa Sector in AFRICA and its role in sustainable development” – January 2018
Morocco's cooperative relations with sub-Saharan countries have not been established today, they are a true model of South-South cooperation. It should be noticed that the spa business has become a very important sector at international level, so we believe it will have a place in this South-South cooperation.
The day of the congress has been a great opportunity to propose and discuss possible projects of partnership with African countries in the spa sector, drawing on the experience and model of the EU through the initiative of OMTh.
Speeches during the congress:
- International overview of the spa sector, Dr. Francesco Bernacchi, OMTh Counsellor;
- Hydrotherapy in Tunisia, Dr. Rzig Ouslati, General Manager of Tunisian National Agency for Spa Business and Hydrotherapy;
- The spa sector in Guinea Conakry, Prof. Diaka Sidibe, (Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Guinea Conakry).
The event was chaired by OMTh Counsellors Dr. Bernacchi and Dr. Loredana Lignola, representing OMTh President, Ing. Ennio Gori, who had been invited but was not able to participate, because he was at another meeting, and the OMTh representative in North Africa Dr. S. Bahaj, as well as AMSTM President.
- Prospects of the spa sector and spa tourism in the spa regions of Morocco, Saadia Bahaj, OMTh representative in North Africa;
National Strategy of Sustainable development, by the representative of the Secrétariat d’Etat in charge of Sustainable development.
The congress was attended by a large number of guests, taking part in the discussions and providing guideline proposals and recommendations. Some of the participants: Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Energy & Mines, Water and Sustainable Development, Secretary of state in charge of Water, Secretary of state in charge of Sustainable development, Secretary of state in charge of rural development, waters & Drills, African Embassies, the Presidents of the spa regions, researchers and University Professors, Women cooperatives of cosmetics products and journalists and press media representatives, confirming the great interest for the spa sector.
Concluding the discussion, the AMSTM President thanked all those in attendance, in particular the OMTh members and quoted the great acknowledgement expressed by OMTh President, Ing. Ennio GORI, during his visit to Morocco in 2011: «We strongly believe that a great country as yours will be able to develop an original and innovative spa model constituting a frame of reference that may be extended to whole North Africa, thus creating a common sinergy in the Mediterranean basin».
Ing. Saadia Bahaj
OMTh Representative in North Africa
ALATh President and SITh and OMTh Counsellor, Dr. N. Hugo Ficosecco (see picture), has summarized the intense activity carried out by ALATh, from the end of 2017 until 2018 and in the last months as well.
At the end of 2017 in Colombia ALATH participated to spa treatments trainings and to lessons aimed to raising the awareness of spa treatments and of the importance of spa tourism in several Colombian locations in the Coffee Axle. A meeting in Panama has been organised as well, in order to include this country in the spa and health tourism business.
Dr. Ficosecco also visited the spa resort Termas de Copahue, Neuquén, where he had the opportunity to discuss about medical spa treatments with the Neuquén Provincial Director for medical spa treatments, Dr. Nicholas Gurnik, with Dr. Lorena Vela, General Manager of Termas del Neuquén, and the mayor of Copahue Caviahue, mr. Oscar Mansegosa, in order to start important joint actions.
At the secretariat of the Ministry of Energy and Mining, SEGEMAR President, Ing. Conde Serra, organised a meeting about spa sector, natural resources and spa medicine.
In Miramar, in the Buenos Aires province, the authorities are studying the local landscape in order to start a public-private thalassotherapy centre. If it were to be built, it would be the first one with this size.
Regarding the most recent hydrotherapy activities in Argentina, a very important event took place. The National Forum for Welfare, Health and Spa Tourism has met for the first time on 7 June 2018 in Concordia, in the Entre Rios Province. The meeting was held under the title: “Therapeutic Use Of Spa Water". It was a unique opportunity, as in the past it was impossible to gather representatives of all the involved sectors, like tourism, healthcare facilities, hotels, restaurants, municipalities, provinces, national legislators and students.This initiative had been launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Entre Rios Province, Dr. Ana Carolina Gaillard and by an institutional representative, Ms. Mayda Rosana Cresto. The meeting was attended by government representatives, representatives of the private sector, professionals charged with the management of the most important spa and healthcare centres in Argentina, managers of well-being centres, university professors, etc. Dr. Ficosecco shared the speaker panel with: Dr. Daniel De Michele, Entre Ríos National University; Dr. Nicolás Gurnik, Provincial Director for Spa Medicine in Termas del Neuquén; Ing. Miguel Cané (h), General Director in La Posada de Quenti, Medical Wellness, Sierras de Córdoba; Alejandro Rubín, CEO of Expo Ourense y Termatalia; Lic. Teresita Van Strate, Termatalia representative in Argentina, mr. Claudio N. Aguilar, President of Asociación Empresaria Hotelera, Gastronómica y Pastelera de la Plata y Zona; Dr. Gerardo Saez from Chaco National University, Lic. Leonardo Olavarría and Nicolás Racedo from Termas de Roque Saenz Peña, Lic. Charisse Scheinkman, from Federación, Entre Ríos, as representative of Maran Suites, Paraná, Entre Ríos. There were also important professionals from the Entre Rios Province and Termas de Rio Hondo, in the Province of Santiago del Estero.In particular Dr. Ficosecco had the great honour to deliver two speeches about “The therapeutic use of spa water” and “Spa resorts and medicine”. Both reports have been very appreciated and acknowledged by lots of participants, as many of them were not informed about the spa therapeutic directions in Colombia, started in 1985 when Dr. Ficosecco took over the position of medical pioneers, as Dr. Gregorio Alvarez, in Neuquén and Dr. Amílcar Cuatrecasas.This meeting comes along with the dissemination of therapeutic spa experiments and it adds to the previously mentioned spa sector draft law in Argentina, a project on which Dr. Ficosecco continues to work on.
The works about scientific research received for the ALATh Award have already been submitted to the appointed panel experts Andrés Campos and architect Nides Escolla. The award consists in an exchange programme with training course during a stay in Termas de Cuntis. The award will be offered by mr. Andrés Campos.Three Universities, the University of Entre Ríos in Argentina, the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil and the University of Rabat in Morocco started a jointed research study to investigate the effects of green muds from Patagonia.ALATh is supporting several business activities with the aim to promote the natural resources and the spa tourism of Argentina, as well as of whole Latin America, in countries with different spa traditions and facilities, for example in Japan.
In this article, OMTh-Vicepresident Fabio Lazzerini (see picture) is providing information about a series of initiatives and events regarding the spa sector in Latin America.
OMTh Vicepresident carried out several initiatives that helped the development of the spa sector in Latin America, always providing an excellent and dedicated work. You’ll find a short overview below.
27/11/2017 – ALATh will be member of the editorial board of the Boletim da Sociedad Española de Hidrologia Médica (BSEHM – Bulletin of the Spanish Society of Medical Hydrology), according to the approval during the General Assembly of the association, and it will also be member of the Sociedad Iberoamericana de Peloides (Spanish-American Society Of Peloids).
18/12/2017 – Support by ALATh/OMTh after the presentation of the first results of a scientific research concerning the natural radioactivity of monazite sands beaches in Guarapari – Espírito Santo/BRA; several other institutions have been involved in this study: FAPES, UFES, SINDICIG, CDL, ABH-ES (https://www.tudoemara.com.br/single-post/2017/12/17/Areias-Monaziticas-de-Guarapari-em-pauta?fb_comment_id=1333426616712920_1334333503288898 ).
These actions have been widely reported in Brazilian social media, as you can see in the following links:
01/2018 – Publication of a scientific article under the title “Progress of negative air ions in health tourism environments applications” in the Bulletin of the Spanish Society of Medical Hydrology
(BSEHM - Vol. 33, n. 1, 27-46. ISSN: 0214-2813 - DOI: 10.23853/bsehm.2018.0450) (http://hidromed.org/hm/images/pdf/BSEHM%202018_33(1)27-46_Lazzerini-F.pdf).
22/03/2018 – ALATh/OMTh was member of the Commission examining the PhD thesis under the title: “Avaliação Clínica em Pacientes Portadores de Osteoartrite, Tratados com a Lama Negra de Peruíbe, Caracterização Química, Radiológica e Estabelecimento de Protocolos de Boas Práticas para a Obtenção e uso deste Pelóide” (Osteoarthritis clinical evaluation in patients treated with peruãbe black mud, chemical and radiological characterization and establishment of good practices protocols for the peloid obtainment and use), at the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN) at the University of Sao Paulo (USP)/BRA. The author is Dr. Paulo Flávio de Macedo Gouvêa, with supervision by Dr. Paulo Silva.
06/06/2018 – The project entitled “Life quality, well-being and health promotion education through social thermalism”, has started. The project is the result of the partnership between OMTh and ITAIPU BINACIONAL (a company providing the largest share of water power in the world. Its methodology won the 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practice Award in water management (category 1) in 2015), the Secretariat for environment and water resources of the state of Paraná, the federal agencies and municipalities in the Itaipu’s reservoir and the spa center Itaipuland (www.lagodeitaipu.com.br). This programme includes a visit to the spa resort and to the natural lake environment (Blue Space) in the municipality of Estância di Itaipulandia. It also includes the education to healthcare and well-being for a long and healthy life with courses for elderly and students of public schools. This project aims to conform to the OMTh and to UN goals, as in order to ensure a sustainable development you need to ensure a healthy life and to promote the well-being of citizens of all ages (UN - SDG 3 for 2030).
09/06/2018 - ALATh/OMTh participation to the “Global Wellness Day” in Bogotá/COL (https://www.globalwellnessday.org/ , https://youtu.be/lgcZz5XDHeI). In cooperation with the Asociación Colombiana de Turismo de Bienestar (ASBIENESTAR - Colombian Association of Well-Being Tourism).
17/06/2018 - Application for ALATh/OMTh membership from the International Medical Health Center (IMH) Organization, based in Bogotà. The request was submitted by the President of the organization and by an employee, Ms. Mónica Gasca Monsalve.
19/06/2018 – Dr. Lazzerini has been appointed to Termatalia representative in Paraguay and ALATh has become member of the organising committee of the First Latin-American Conference for Tourism, Well-Being and Sustainability (UNILA – Federal University of Latin American Integration). ALATh/OMTh has officially become part of the group of the main Termatalia organisers – Foz do Iguaçu/BRA 2018 (http://www.termatalia.com/).
27/06/2018 - OMTh meeting with the Prefect of Estância de Caldas de Cipó – BA and with Vice-Prefect of Estância de Águas de São Pedro – SP Celso Marques, contact person for the development of the spa sector, health tourism and public environmental health in these two relevant spa resorts in Brazil; the event took place in Cipó – Bahia/BRA.
03/07/2018 – Public hearing about the health benefits from monazite sands of Guarapari-beach – Espírito Santo/BRA,. Also participating: federal deputy, Dr. Walter De Prá and Dr. Fabio Lazzerini; the event took place in the municipality of Estância de Guarapari.