Baltic resort guide

  • 2010-01-13

The source of mineral water in Jaunkemeri Park, Latvia.

RIGA - Medical tourism has become a major international trend. It has been driven by health conscious consumers in the developed economies seeking the best way to their well being, through a travel and lower-cost healthcare experience. The best world-wide hotels, medical and spa center professionals provide everything you need – facilities, treatments, services and all the other things important to you.

The reasons which prompt people to search for different solutions to their health problems vary. First of all is a possibility to receive the help of unique experts in performing operations. Secondly, people usually want to improve their well-being by finding unique procedures, which may be accessible only in one country. But more frequently, it is a possibility to save money and to see something new. It is not a secret that prices in clinics and sanatoria in the Baltics are lower than prices for similar services in Europe.

We can divide medical tourism into two phases:
1. Treatment/diagnostics. You can go abroad to make medical examinations in specialized medical clinics, which then provide operations and treating/restoring procedures.
2. Supportive medicine. Is a compilation of sanatoria and spa treatments. Doctors often prescribe treatment courses for those recovering from chronic diseases, remission periods – after acute symptoms.

It has been proved that sanatoria and spa treatments are the best and most effective way to recover from many diseases. A variety of methods of treatment - gymnastics, massage, water procedures and dietary -  improve immunity and help to work all systems correctly.   

Pine trees on sand dune beaches, a beautiful sea endlessly throwing foaming waves onto the flat sandy shore — this is a calling card from the Baltic resorts. One can have both nice holidays here and improve one’s health and reinvigorate mentally and physically. Contemporary Baltic health resorts, spa sanatoriums and centers can be proud of the created symbiosis of the traditional sanatorium-type health resorts, coupled with contemporary treatment methods.
The Baltics have a tradition (dating back to the 13th century) of sanatoriums and health resorts. Europeans have long been flocking to Baltic countries to take advantage of its wealth of natural resources - its picturesque landscapes, excellent climatic conditions, mineral rich water and therapeutic mud deposits - in getting rid of different physical maladies and combating mental disquiet.

Operating all-year round, these rehabilitation centers and sanatoriums offer package treatments that include accommodation, meals, medical care, physiotherapy and recreation. These treatment packages promise all-round care of the patients. These modern-day sanatoriums have guest-rooms with attached sanitary facilities, balcony and radio/TV. Meals are prepared as per the needs of individual patients undergoing treatments.
Other facilities like common cafes, gymnasiums, Jacuzzi baths, libraries, sauna, swimming pools, etc., offer the tourists healthy engagement. From time to time, special events such as excursions, hiking trips, and cultural shows are arranged by the spa/resort authorities.

Medical services include diagnosis and treatment. While diagnosis and treatment prescription are undertaken by renowned names in Baltic medicine and therapeutics, trained nursing staff and therapists manning the sanatoria undertake the actual therapy-application. The medical facilities fitted with state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitation equipment are fully modernized.

Many sanatoriums of Latvia are situated in the coastal area of Jurmala. This resort city is near the airport Riga and the capital of Latvia – Riga. One of the treatment centers is the national rehabilitation center Vaivari. It is situated near the summer aqua park complex Nemo. This is the biggest medical recovery and rehabilitation sanatorium in Latvia.
Before treatment starts all clients should be examined by the sanatorium specialists to prescribe the treatment course. There are many clients from all over the world.

Mineral mud-based therapy helps to recover from vascular diseases, varicose, heart, lungs and digestive tract diseases. The Vaivari sanatorium specializes in post-operational recovery and orthopedic recovery from diseases and operations. The profile of this sanatorium is spinal, gerontological, children’s neurology. There you can nurse adult internal diseases and back pains, the congenital or acquired illnesses of the skeleton, or backbone curvature.
Only in Vaivari can you find non-traditional recovery methods like horse riding therapy. It helps to relax the backbone and is strongly recommended in case of micro breaks, cerebral paralysis, encephalitis, meningitis, muscle atrophy and other locomotorium diseases.

Another famous resort rehabilitation center is Jaunkemeri, situated 35 km from Riga and 300 m from sea. About 370 people can take treatment there concurrently. The sanatorium was built 42 years ago and after Latvia became independent, reconstruction was done. The sanatorium has modern equipment to treat different forms of diseases. It has special therapies with mineral “Kemeri mud” and mineral water. The climate of the Jurmala seaside allows for a comfortable feeling for the people who have respiratory problems. About 300,000 people have been in Jaunkemeri for treatment since it opened. The profile of this sanatorium is recovery and prophylactics of such health problems like heart and vascular diseases, the central and peripheral nervous system, adiposity, backbone, digestive organs, metabolism infringement, skin, gynecologic, urological, children’s diseases. For those who want to slim down and not damage the functions of the organism, there is special juice therapy.

There are more than 25 knowledgeable specialists who can diagnose, prescribe treatment and then supervise your health problems. Jaunkemeri provides high quality services. For business people it also has a seminar and conference room for 40 people. For leisure it also has a cinema for 350 people.
According to Newsweek, the Lithuanian resort Druskininkai, which is situated 130 km from Vilnius and 40 km from the Lithuanian-Belarus border, is included in the 10 best European resorts. The resort is on the river Njamunas, and founded in 1794; it has today turned into the largest Baltic center for rest on water.

In a city of 9 sanatoria, which is far from the sea, are situated more than 30 hotels. There is also the largest aqua park in the region and the great spa-center Aqua Meduna. It is located on a territory of 25,000 m2, and is a municipal property.
Druskininkai’s waters, with a strong mineralization (about 55 g for 1L) in their treatment characteristics, are similar to Baden-Baden waters. It is a favorable place for rest among Russians, Belarusans, Polish, Latvians and Germans.
The Palanga resort is represented basically by classical tourism with an indispensable spa package. The two-star hotel Vituris, with 91 rooms is located near the Botanical Park and is 600 meters from the sea. This is the only rehabilitation center which accepts people with weak eye vision and hearing. The prices here are very attractive, though Palanga is often called “Baltic Ibiza.”

The association of resorts and recovering treatments of Estonia unite 16 spa centers in historically built resort cities. They are: Pjarnu, Haapsalu, Kuressaare on Saaremaa  island and Narva-Jyesuu, sanatoriums of Tallinn, Vijmsi, Tojla, Vjarska and Puhajarve. Basically, the tourists are Estonian, but it is a lovely place for Finnish and Swedish guests. The first sanatoriums in Estonia were founded in the 19th century. The Russian doctor Nicolay Pirogov discovered the treatment features in Estonian mineral water (there is a lot of iodine and bromine) which helps to treat skin and respiratory diseases. Estonian resorts were very popular during the Russian empire and now have become more popular among Europeans.