Reviving Romania’s health tourism

The main aim of the National Health Tourism Conference is to ignite a debate on the future of health tourism services among experienced doctors from health resorts and decision makers, Chairman of the Romanian Society of Physical Medicine and Recovery (SRMFR) Mihai Berteanu told a news conference on Friday.

He announced that the Health Ministry signed an order for the establishment of a working group that will draw up a new health tourism law.

Doctor Delia Cinteza, Director of the National Institute for Health Tourism and Recovery, explained that 91 percent of the Romanian health resorts turned private and the owners, under the legislation in force, have to meet certain requirements regarding the content of therapeutic agents, which have to be tested at regular intervals.

The institute is empowered to take action on its own accord if problems emerge about the therapeutic agents.

Cinteza underscored that it is important for the relevant European standards to be observed, because Romania does have legislation in this sense but it is ignored.

The best known health resorts of Romania now are Felix (northwest of Bucharest), Geoagiu (north-west of Bucharest), and Herculane (south-west of Bucharest), all for rheumatic conditions; Sangeorz-Bai (north-west of Bucharest), for digestive troubles; Olanesti (north-west of Bucharest) for liver and kidney conditions, and Sovata (north-west of Bucharest) for gynecological conditions.

Unfortunately, only 10 percent of Romanians visit these resorts, but many of the tourists come back because they cannot afford to vacation elsewhere, said Nicolae Enea.

Enea also said that there are nearly 40,000 tourists a year visiting Covasna.

Honorary chairman of the Health Tourism Society Nicolae Teleki said that, as far as the establishment of a health resort in northern Bucharest is concerned, the area has potentials, because it has thermal waters rich in sulfur.

Yet, he added, Bucharest cannot be turned into a health resort because such a resort entails the existence of more than one therapeutic agent.

There is a small resort privately run around the Free Press House area that can be further developed and diversified.

Teleki also said that the Ana Aslan brand should be preserved and developed in all the Romanian health resorts coupled with other therapeutic agents.

Medical Director of the Romanian Health Tourism Institute Iaroslav Kiss said the institute was the second in Europe, after the first opened in France.
Kiss mentioned that there are currently new trends in health tourism that combine elements of prophylaxis, therapy and healthcare.

‘Unfortunately, the owners of the resort facilities and the specialist medical staff have been only sporadically involved in the promotion of the new trends,’ said Kiss.

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