365 days of health! This is how healthcare professionals from all areas: hospitals, clinics, agencies, hotels, transport, local communities, tourist boards… think in the Kvarner region, in Croatia.

Two days ago an interesting and multifarious business gathering took place in Crikvenica, some 30 kilometers south of Rijeka. Wellbe was invited, being now part of this group of business professionals that aim to extend the inclusion of modern healthcare as a vital part of the development of tourism in this region. Quality healthcare for all, locals and visitors that especially come seeking to improve their health and wellbeing.

The fact is that tourism as such developed from health tourism in this area some 170 years ago. And, which is even more interesting, the winter time was the most popular at first, with the first tourists being visitors coming from central Europe. As mentioned on several occasions, the main attractions and arguments for people to come here for their health are: an excellent climate with unpolluted air, cleansed by fresh mountain winds; a lot of sunny hours during the year (over 2,150 on average); and the sea, of which the aerosol is so very important for one’s easy breathing and clear mind.

We, the healthcare professionals, strongly believe that the moment is right for our region to become recognized again, after some slower development in the past. Therefore, we put a lot of energy promoting this region and its several health resort to the various generations of people throughout Europe and beyond, who appreciate, like and want to travel abroad for more affordable healthcare. We understand these needs since we experience them, too, as we share this life style, and the values and beliefs.

All of the special hospitals for rheumatic, heart or respiratory rehabilitation and the well-known physiotherapy polyclinics, recognized worldwide by top athletes or people who suffer injuries caused by today’s fast and stressful way of living are certified with the basic standards recognized in the EU, while some have even higher levels of accreditation, such as DIAS or Temeo. This enables them to be in the same category as other similarly accredited clinics around the world, building their position and becoming more and more recognized by international clients.

The Health Forum was well supported by Croatian national institutions, such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism, the Tourist Board and the Institute for Tourism. However, the most important aspects are the skills, knowledge and expertise of medical specialists in treating the various conditions, already described in this and many other materials before, along with the many positive testimonials of satisfied clients.

I was personally very pleased to listen to the final words by a young and clearly already expert doctor, a pediatrician and deputy head of a special hospital in Crikvenica. While he was describing the latest equipment and procedures that they have in their institution, one could sense his care for patients, his ambition and dedication to develop further the idea of healthcare for all – children, young, families and elderly, in this beautiful north Adriatic Riviera.