Bulgaria Has The Unique Opportunity To Become a Spa Destination

In Bulgaria spa services are often identified with balneology. However, the two concepts differ. Balneotourism is intended to treat sick people for their restoration and maintenance and prevention of various diseases. Spa tourism (SPA – Sanus per aqua – “health through water”) and wellness (as opposed to “disease”) is aimed at people without health problems. The clients of these centers are in good health and financial situation and the purpose of their visits is relaxation and rapid recovery from stress.Of course, the good looks you gain from spa procedures are an aim too. The similarity between these two concepts is that they use methods of hydrotherapy. All services related to balneology, SPA, wellness, form the so called “health tourism”.

Urbanization and the increasing stress through the years lead to the development of new disease-related tension. In this respect people worldwide are focusing on keeping the human health. There is a tendency to return to nature and natural products of cosmetics and medical equipment. Balneological resorts have been honored since the Roman era. And Bulgaria has to offer a lot of them.

Many remains of baths and spa facilities are preserved near the springs in Kyustendil, Sofia, Hissar, Sapareva Banyaand other Bulgarian resorts. Now the World Health Organization focuses on health prevention issues. The logo is ”Health for all people through the gifts of nature – mineral water, sun and climate”. In Europe, the most popular tourism, in the last decade, is balneology. Bulgarian experts say that in the field of healing tourism, Bulgaria has little competition in Europe. Bulgaria’s unique healing qualities of mineral water and mud have no real equivalent in the Old Continent. In Bulgaria are combined cultural, ethnic, environmental, religious, rural and hunting potentials.With this combination of favorable factors in the country, Bulgaria can come boldly to the European market and make balneology to be very profitable branch of the tourism sector.

According to information published recently in famous newspaper, analysts believe that in 2010 the income of an average spa facility in Europe and North America will increase accordingly-about 1,3 million and 2,3 million dollars. In Bulgaria, forecasts for spa and wellness market are also optimistic and this is according to Dr. Bistra Dimitrova from the National Sports Academy. The last decade is marked by an explosive growth in the spa industry. She cites data from the Daily Times, according to which, the first sector to over come the crisis will be tourism and spa industry in particular. In May 2009 the Swiss leaders of the global spa industry have shared the same forecast as 33.8 percent of them stated that the spa and wellness businesses have increased their profits.

Medical Tourism: India – A Preferred Destination

Medical Tourism presents an opportunity for the healthcare sector worldwide to expand and grow by tapping the potential of the international market. The tourists from around the world are traveling to combine affordable medical care with a luxurious vacation. A major percentage of patients in the developed countries are seeking treatment in healthcare institutions outside the boundaries of their nation. The global advancement in medical research and technologies, increased facilities of transportation and demand for immediate quality healthcare have provided the patients worldwide to travel abroad for treatment. Governments of many nations have come forward with assistance to facilitate and encourage the development of the health tourism industry.

India has emerged as one of the leaders in promoting medical tourism. Patients around the world are beginning to realize the potential advancement of modern technologies Indian medicine. The medical procedures in India are inexpensive as compared to that of US and other European nations. The Indian Healthcare industry has realized the potential of this niche market and has begun to tailor their services for international visitors. Medical tourists worldwide have a good cause to seek treatment in India to avail state-of-the-art medical facilities along with an opportunity of visiting the culturally rich nation.

The healthcare-tourism industry has expanded its services with the growing demand around the world. A large number of Europeans are coming to India to get medical treatment, including advanced surgery. Many leading hospitals have expounded on this by branching their medical expertise to super-specialization. International patients usually get a package deal that includes flights, transfers, hotels, treatment and often a post-operative vacation.

India aims to become the global health destination with internationally recognized healthcare professionals, holistic medicinal services and low cost of treatment. India has the potential to provide services to over one million health tourists every year. Medical tourism has given healthy boost to the Indian economy as well. To cater to this opportunity, the Tourism Ministry of India has joined hands with the healthcare sector to provide specialized care for the international patients. The medical tourism industry has the potential to become a major driver of Indian economy like Information Technology.

The concept of priority treatment is becoming popular fast in a majority of Indian hospitals. Indian hospitals excel in cardiology and cardio thoracic surgery, cosmetic surgery, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology, Bariatric/Obesity Surgery, transplants and urology to name a few. Medical tourists are increasingly resorting to medical treatments in India. Another fact to drive tourists is attraction of the reviving Indian traditional medicines such as yoga, ayurveda and meditation that they receive during their stay.

Medical tourism in India was hardly large enough to be noticed about a decade ago. This year, approximately half a million foreign patients will travel to India for medical care, whereas in 2002, the number was only 150,000. Recent researches and trends guarantee that the market for medical tourism will continue to expand in the years ahead and India will emerge as one of the leading nations specializing in the industry.

Foreign Travel Health Tips

With just 36 hours to circle the world by air, a time well below the incubation period of most diseases can be contracted in many countries around the world. Year after year, more and more people who undertake international travel, even in developing countries that were just beaten goals: reducing the cost of flights were offered to many, the opportunity to visit distant countries, often for the first time.

The more than 700 million passengers who travel each year on the planet have a significant risk of getting sick and becoming a vehicle of infection to other people when they get back home. Every traveler should be aware that protect your health also means protecting those of others and that to do so we must also respect the culture and environment of the destination of travel.

In recent years, health authorities around the world have understood the importance of protecting human health from possible outbreaks of infection or precarious sanitary situation of the countries visited. On the one hand, the risk can be minimized through appropriate precautions, prevention and vaccination, taken prior to departure. Secondly, the identification and timely treatment of an imported disease are essential for preventing the disease from transmitting to others, to become a serious public health problem.

Before you travel

To reduce the risk of getting sick or having accidents while you are abroad, the ideal is to contact your doctor 4-6 weeks before you leave. Among the general factors to consider are:

1. Pre-existing diseases or disorders
2.Vaccination status (including the possibility of vaccines against diseases endemic in the destination of travel)
3.Allergies to foods or medicines
4.Prescriptions being
5.Any previous trips.

Depending on the destination of the journey, we must then consider all those who may become risk factors:

* Food and water, are often not thoroughly purified in many countries around the world
* Environmental conditions to which the body is not accustomed (altitude, drought, temperature too high)
* Presence of parasites in the environment and in animals with whom you may come into contact (by insects in various invertebrates, until poultry)
* Sexual behaviors that may increase the risk of transmitting infections.

The characteristics of the journey and the destination are important: a roadmap, place and length of stay, conditions of hygiene, and reason for travel (tourism, business, educational, humanitarian mission, etc.), season of the year, possible exposure to risk factors, epidemic in progress.

There are some categories of especially vulnerable people who require more care during the sight: children, elderly, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals, but also people who are preparing to make a trip “adventure.”

Prophylaxis and vaccination

Vaccination can be an effective preventive of many diseases that can be contracted during travel. When you are about to leave, you should first check to be up to date with vaccinations under the national program. In particular, in Italy are compulsory immunization against diphtheria and tetanus (DT), polio (IPV) and hepatitis B (Hb), while those are strongly recommended to protect from measles, mumps and rubella (MPR) and infections with Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib).

Depending on the destination then the journey will be recommended the vaccine or prophylaxis against certain specific diseases. Today, no country requires the certificate of vaccination against smallpox and against cholera. The only certificate that should be required in international travel, up to some travelers, is that against yellow fever. Many countries require an international certificate of vaccination valuable to travelers arriving from infected areas or who have transited through those areas, while some require a certificate to all travelers entering, including those in transit. That requirement goes beyond what is stated in the International Health Regulations, however, vaccination is strongly recommended for travel outside of urban areas in countries including in areas endemic for yellow fever.

As for malaria, for each country situated in endemic areas is recommended chemoprophylaxis specification, according to species and level of drug resistance parasites

Detailed information on the vaccination to visit different areas of the world can be found in many institutional sites, including the Ministry of Health, the WHO or Cdc Americans. Epicenter are also on a number of health topics relevant to those preparing to make a trip:

* Brucellosis
* Chikungunya
* Viral Hepatitis
* Dengue fever
* Lassa fever
* Marburg hemorrhagic fever
* Giardia
* Influence
* AI
* Legionellosis
* Leishmaniasis
* Listeria
* Malaria
* Sexually transmitted diseases
* Meningitis
* Norovirus
* Fever
* Rotavirus
* Salmonella
* Syphilis
* Tetanus
* Tossinfezioni food
* Toxoplasmosis
* Tuberculosis
* Vaccinations
* Smallpox
* Tick
* Zoonoses

4 Tips to Making Health Tourism Less Scary

Many peoples’ first thought when they think of health or medical tourism is “scary”, and while some medical destinations may be out of some peoples’ comfort zones the one common post-trip comment tends to be, “I wish I hadn’t waited so long!”

There are three reasons that I can think of for people delaying a knee replacement surgery, hip replacement surgery, or other orthopedic procedure – sometimes 4 years or more and they are financial, awareness of health tourism options, and fear of the destination or unknown.

In terms of finances, orthopedic procedures like knee or hip replacement surgery can be up to 80% less than the cost of the procedure in the U.S. (and that includes travel and accommodation), and yet they’re still not dirt cheap. That said you need balance the cost of the procedure against the quality of your life. Is your pain preventing you from enjoying the things that are important to you, like golf, spending time with children or grandchildren? There are ways to fund a medical trip, and if your destination of choice is New Zealand then MyMedicalLoans.com is one of those financial aid organizations.

Health tourism awareness is slowly being remedied, with publications and resource sites cropping up regularly. And of course with Google indexing the universe, a good search on procedures and medical or health tourism options should provide you with enough information to keep you busy.

In terms of fear, well there are definitely some destinations that could be a shock culturally speaking. Hip or knee replacement surgery and other orthopedic procedures are scary enough at home, let along halfway around the world in a country so different from your own. There are several tips to finding the right health tourism destination and making the process smooth and less scary.

Research and select an appropriate destination

If you’re considering health tourism, you’ll want to spend some time researching what country you should visit. Depending on the orthopedic procedure you’re having done, you could be in that country for 3 weeks – potentially longer – undergoing rehabilitation, so you’ll want to be sure you’re comfortable and safe. Consider other factors, such as customs, the language they speak, hygienic practices, ease of transportation, and even something as simple as the food they eat.

Get patient testimonials

When you select your destination and facility, be sure to insist on previous patient testimonials. If you can, even ask to speak in person to a patient to really understand the experience they had. These people are the ones that will tell you exactly what the process was like – they aren’t getting paid!

Select a facilitator or coordinator you can trust

Most health tourism organizations will assign one person to help you with the process. This coordinator will ensure you get a visa, airline tickets and transfers, help arrange accommodations after your surgery, and help schedule all the visits needed along the way. The more comfortable you are with this person, and the more you can trust your medical coordinator, the easier the whole experience will be.

Take someone with you

As I mentioned earlier, you probably will be in your host country for several weeks, so having a companion along with you is a great way to feel better faster. Surgery is never fun, so having a travel companion can make is easier to deal with.