THE CONTRIBUTION OF THERMAL TOURISM TO HEALTH TOURISM, ITS STATUS AND IMPORTANCE
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THE CONTRIBUTION OF THERMAL TOURISM TO HEALTH TOURISM, ITS STATUS AND IMPORTANCE
Dr. Dursun AYDIN President of Association of Improving Health Tourism
DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN TURKEY 1965361.75819751.540.90419852.614.92419957.726.886200417.516.908
(Source: DE)NUMBER OF TOURISTS ACCORDING TO YEARS
ALTERNATIVE TOURISM TYPESWinter tourismCulture tourismHealth tourismBelief tourismSports tourismMountain tourismCongress tourismHunting tourismYacht tourismPlateau tourism etc.
HEALTH TOURISMHealth tourism is going from one country to another, because of the waiting lists of hospitals, having more economical treatment or better quality health services abroad or desiring to take a vacation beside the treatment or particularly going abroad for treatment purposes.
HEALTH TOURISM TOPICSPlanned TreatmentHealth services out of insurance coverage (Laser Excimer, hair transplantation, plastic surgery)Health services that insurance does cover (dialysis patients, immediate aid services, etc.)Thermal Spring TreatmentRelaxation purposed thermal spring services (Wellness, Restness)Treatment purposed thermal spring services (Cure Treatment)Elderly and Handicapped Resorts (Holiday and care purposed)
THERMAL SPRING TOURISMThe trips to take advantages of the thermal springsGoing from one country to another for thermal spring treatments which of those medical necessities are determined with the certificates.Taking advantages of the thermal springs with the broad hotel services in a comfortable environment in order to rest, relax and feel better.Mostly the limits of 1 and 2 may not be seperated from each other. Even these 2 may be served together.
THERMAL SPRING TOURISM IN THE WORLDIn European countries (especially East Europe) generally treatment purposed (cure therapy) thermal spring services are prevalent.
In USA, Canada and many Asian countries, the services are generally for vacation purposes (wellness, restness, relaxation)
THERMAL SPRING ENTERPRICES IN THE WORLDIn West European countries (Germany, France, Austria etc.) there are primarily treatment purposed centers. They are expensive.In East European countries (Hungary, Greece, Italy, Czech Republic and Slovakia) there are luxurious thermal springs aimed both for thermal spring tourism and for treatment. They are cheapIn USA and Canada there are numerous SPA centers in luxurious, big hotels.
THERMAL SPRING TOURISM IN OUR COUNTRYa)Relaxation purposed thermal spring tourismIncludes some of the tourists (especially the elderly) taking advantage of our countrys natural beauty and resting in geothermal resources. Here, the nature where the thermal spring exists, the quality of the geothermal and luxury environment will be very important. The main purpose is to rest and have fun and the second is to relax and get well.
THERMAL SPRING TOURISM IN OUR COUNTRYb) Treatment purposed thermal spring tourismIncludes the patients whom are diagnosed by the doctors in their own countries to come to our country for treatment and to take advantages of the thermal springs.They also have to be treated under doctor control, in the thermal springs, within the limits of the rules of medicine in Turkey. In this part, the quality of the thermal spring and its physical type become more important than luxury.Even modern small thermal spring centers can serve to this purpose.
THE LATEST STATUS OF THERMAL SPRING SERVICES IN OUR COUNTRYIt is not advertised and marketed well in our country and abroad. Actually the advertisement of the thermal springs have never been made in foreign countries.The cure treatment indications were not settled in our country.FTR recently has gained its importance and is the only clinic that gives referral to thermal spring.Even with the diagnosed medical indications, the certified thermal springs that a patient could go, have not been widespread up to now.The amount that social security organizations pay are far below the actual costs.A serious study or research have not been made about the referrals of patients abroad for spa treatment by European Health Krankenkasses and their reimbursements.
EUROPEAN THERMAL SPRINGS IN FIGURESEurope: 1100 thermal springs and cure centers availableGermany: 330 thermal springs, 350.000 employees, 950.000 bed capacity, 26.500 Million Euros incomeItaly: 200 thermal springs, 6 million/year visitorHungary: 120 thermal springsBulgaria: 300 thermal springsCzech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia: 190 thermal springs and cure centers
THE LATEST STATUS OF THERMAL SPRING SERVICES IN EUROPEWhile European enterprices are raising the quality and standards, they try to raise their share on the market at the same time.On the other hand the insurances try to reduce the thermal spring treatment costs. They bring limitations, raise the contribution margin and search for cheaper markets. People do not give up the standards that they are used to.As a result of the disagreement of these three parties, people tend to go to cheaper thermal springs by paying from their own pockets.There has been now a thermal spring tourism that moves to out of Europe.
EUROPEAN INSURANCES POINT OF VIEW ABOUT THE FOREIGN THERMAL SPRING SERVICES 1Foreign cure providers have become more preferable in order to reduce the costs in cure treatment services.Although GKV pleases the insurance members, the German cure providers feel stressed and want that foreign expansion should be suppressed.They are emphasizing that at least an equal competition atmosphere should be created and stress that the opportunity should be given to the just cure providers which fit the German cure standards.
EUROPEAN INSURANCES POINT OF VIEW ABOUT THE FOREIGN THERMAL SPRING SERVICES 2Since February 2005 approximately 20 BKK (betriebskrankenkassen) health insurance associations have made an agreement with Czech Republic cures and agreed on special discounts.For all the health insurances, expense (money) factor comes first.This cure is legally based on East European Countries Guarantee meeting expenses made in 2004.According to this law, the health insurance will cover all the expenses of its member in case the member travels to another EU country for the cure.
EUROPEAN INSURANCES POINT OF VIEW ABOUT THE FOREIGN THERMAL SPRING SERVICES 3Barmer and AOK do not think of making that kind of an agreement.Barmer Spare Health Insurance indicated that they would be making agreements abroad when it was cought up with German health standards abroad.DKVA, the connection center of foreign insurances and German insurances, is seeking insurances and health system abroad.At the end of it, by the agreements with the insurances abroad treatments will be permitted.MDK which is German local quality research and health insurances association (medical service branch of health insurance associations) is taking care.
THERMAL SPRING TOURISM IN EUROPEAN PRESS 1May 2005. Newspaper: (Der Gelbe Dienst vom 25.04.2005):German cure execution association (DHV) and cure pension execution association (VdKB) were displeased with the insurance companies and sent a complaint letter to German Health Minister, Ulla Schmidt telling that choice of foreign countries put German providers in a difficult position. They said that they were ready for competition but that kind of unfair competition was wrong.They indicated that the foreign cures are below German quality standards and blamed the insurances for not making the essential quality control for the patients but foregrounding just the cheap prices.
THERMAL SPRING TOURISM IN EUROPEAN PRESS 2Newspaper: Augsburger Allgemeinen Zeitung vom 12.04.2005:While in 90s approximately 580.000 cures were registered, these days this number was decreased to 110.000.Beside AOK pioneer H.Platzer, other insurances and cure providers emphasized that, an equal competition atmosphere should be formed. It was pointed out that East Europe was drawing attention with its favourable prices.DHV cure execution pioneer Kirchner said that the education/training standards should be equal and pointed out that a group of contractors were establishing a massage auditorium after a 8 weeks of massage training in Poland.In addition to that, AOK pioneer Platzer emphasized that, if the foreign cures do not catch up these standards and get certified, AOK insurance members would not be able to pay the cure prices.
THERMAL SPRING TOURISM IN EUROPEAN PRESS 3NEWSPAPER:Vogtland-Anzeiger vom 11.04.2005:The future policy of Germany left the question, whether they take legal measures for the insurances approving Czech Republic and Pollands cures or not, unanswered.By emphasizing that quality ISO-standards should be used in this matter, Europe commission pioneer of German cure association Kirchner said that until the year 2007 approximately 22 European countries would catch up these ISO German cure standards and got the ISO certificate.
THERMAL SPRING TOURISM IN EUROPEAN PRESS 4NEWSPAPER:Vogtland-Anzeiger vom 11.04.2005:Bayern state cure pioneer said that, the cure patients became conscious and while the %70 of them were insured patients and %30 were the ones came by their own pocket eight years ago, now these percentages were turned upside down. Now %70 of them were coming by their own pockets and %30 of the expenses were paid by the insurance.If the standards of the cures in Europe werent be raised as expected, German cure providers would be facing big problems. In last 10 years, German cure providers spent 450 million Euros in order to raise the cure quality.
THE THERMAL SPRING PACKAGES THAT CAN BE PROVIDED IN OUR COUNTRYClassic SPA packagesAdditional city tours in case of requestBasic