Wellness health medicalThe latest trend in the spa business is called Medical Wellness. Beauty farm with stress ECG or steam bath combined with colon cancer test – the hotel becomes a health center. In the VITAL Talk, five experts discussed: Is it serious?
Having a blood count done in a hotel – is that what you want?? Yes, the German Medical Wellness Association (DMWV), based in Berlin, is convinced of this. It helps wellness hotels, spas and health resorts, all of which are struggling against declining guest numbers, to polish up their image with new "feel-good" medicine. But doesn't the doctor's office remain a better place for preventive care?? We asked five experts to take part in the VITAL talk.
VITAL: Almost 80 percent of Germans have no idea what to make of the term "medical wellness," according to a study by the University of Greifswald. Literally translated, it means "medical wellness". That sounds contradictory. What exactly is meant by this?
LUNGWITZ: Our association defines Medical Wellness as health-scientifically accompanied measures for the lasting improvement of the quality of life and the subjective health feeling. These are medical wellness offers in the sense of effective preventive care.
This still sounds very woolly to us. Well, because this term is so complex, discussions about its correct definition are still in full swing in our association. We have not yet grasped it one hundred percent.
In other words, you yourself do not know what you mean by it. But! Medical Wellness clearly stands for medically supervised wellness measures. However, I must emphasize at this point that they have nothing to do with cancer screening or similar medical examinations.
Does medicine belong in wellness?
Dr. Thomas Broemel, managing director of Praenobis GmbH, which operates a new center for prevention in Hamburg
Obviously some hotels see it differently. The offer vascular ultrasound, stress ECG, a glucose tolerance test for diabetes diagnosis and colorectal cancer screening. Does so much medicine really belong in wellness?
DR. BROEMEL: One thing in advance: I am a "hardcore doctor". Wellness has nothing to do with medicine for me! I also doubt the meaningfulness of the term "Medical Wellness". Wellness means "feeling good" to me. You can feel good mentally, physically or spiritually. But how will you feel medically well? That does not exist at all.
DR. KUBENZJust a moment, Dr. Broemel, if I use wellness well and permanently, I definitely have an effect on the development of diseases. Also in the long term. There we are already in the area of prevention.
Keyword "prevention. Doing something purposefully to avoid getting sick in the first place – that's what everyone wants to do. There one could say sharpened: Medical Wellness need we all.
DR. KUBENZI do not think so. Healthy ones need only Wellness, in order to feel well. But the person who does Medical Wellness, I ame, usually already has a disease such as rheumatism or diabetes. This should not deteriorate further or. no other illnesses should be added. Or?
LUNGWITZNo, at Medical Wellness, sick people are not made healthy, but healthy people are kept healthy.
According to this, Medical Wellness would be nothing else than preventive medicine.
BUBENZER: No, the difference to preventive medicine is that Medical Wellness does not prescribe anything. Our guests can take advantage of the medical services offered at the hotel or spend two weeks "lying on their lazy skin. Everything happens without prere, without teachings and always on voluntary basis. As we understand the addition "medical", it has above all the function to separate the wheat from the chaff among the offerers.
This seems to be urgently necessary. Lifestyle coaching, nutritional counseling, therapeutic fasting according to F. X. Mayr, TCM diagnostics, medical Qigong, Shiatsu, energetic bodywork – the offers are endless. How are laymen there to recognize, which are respectable??
LUNGWITZWe have developed a certificate with TuV, which hotels can apply for and which is checked every year after it has been awarded. KRANICH: All well and good. But when the consumer sees in the catalog that a hotel has your certificate, he still does not know what that means exactly and includes. There is programmed label swindle.
LUNGWITZ: You didn't let me finish my sentence! Our certificate is based on more than 3000 evaluation criteria. This includes z. B. The quality of stay. We rate them according to the 4-star standards of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. Just as important: How does the quality management in the house look like?? How is training provided, who informs whom, how is it documented?? And naturally a well trained physician belongs locally to it.
Who are typical medical wellness guests??
Christoph Kranich, Head of the Health and Patient Protection Department at the Hamburg Consumer Center
How can the guest be sure that a house meets these categories, Mr. Kranich?
KRANICH: He should ask everything that is important to him before booking. Transparency and assessability for the guests I find very, very important. There should be a portal on the Internet where guests can rate their stay. The naked certificate alone is not enough. Especially when it comes to possible side effects.
It's all the worse that some hotels don't have a doctor who is always available, as testers recently discovered.
BUBENZERIt does not have to be a doctor employed by the hotel. However, we at the DMWV demand a sufficiently high level of availability in the sense of on-call service.
DR. BROEMEL: Does the DMWV pay attention to the qualification of the doctor??
BUBENZER: It must first be a licensed physician. In addition, he should be qualified as a sports doctor, nutritionist or doctor for naturopathic treatments, for example.
DR. KUBENZ: That's not enough for me. Every Medical Wellness facility must guarantee in my eyes that on the first day a detailed discussion with the physician and a general medical examination take place. This is important, after all, to determine which offers are good for guests and which are not. If the treatment is running, regular support meetings should take place. And in the end, you also have to take care of the follow-up with the guest's family doctor. Only in this way does Medical Wellness make sense to me!
BUBENZER: How do you want to manage this? If someone voluntarily does Medical Wellness on his vacation and does not inform his family doctor about it, then that is nevertheless exclusively in his personal responsibility. The hotel can't report that. DR. KUBENZ: The not. But it can ask the guest before his stay to bring medical reports about his pre-existing conditions. In conventional cure hospitals this happens completely naturally. If there is no link between the general practitioner and the hotel, the doctor-patient relationship is disrupted. This creates a competitive situation, which counteracts everything that medical wellness can possibly bring about positively with its guests.
Who are the typical Medical Wellness guests??
LUNGWITZThese are people who are dissatisfied with conventional medicine or their doctors, because they do not have time for them, do not listen. KRANICHI'm sure many patients feel the same way. But first and foremost, medical wellness is a new market that you are opening up, a business model that as many providers as possible should and want to use.
DR. BROEMELYes, after all, a certificate like this is also a wonderful marketing tool. When I open a new wellness hotel, I make sure that I get as many stamps as possible – even if I have to invent them myself. LUNGWITZMarketing in itself is nothing negative at first. But if it were as you say, Dr. Broemel, the reluctance of many hotels would not be so great to be certified. However, the DMWV does not intend to accuse the houses that do not have a "stamp". We want them to raise their standard. We want more medical wellness with maximum quality. Less dubious black sheep.
Can medical wellness reach preventive care muffle?
That would have to be in your interest, wouldn't it, Dr. Kubenz. Preventive medicine has the problem that z. B. the free "Check-up 35" or mammography screening are used far too rarely. Could Medical Wellness reach more Vorsorgemuffel? DR. KUBENZ: I do not find the term "Medical Wellness" happy. I say that quite clearly. But what is behind it, I find already meaningful. This is a good addition that can help us doctors in prevention. But the DMWV should rethink its quality criteria.
You seem rather unconvinced, Dr. Broemel. See it differently? DR. BROEMEL: I have no problem with the fact that one wants to stand out with the addition "Medical". I don't see that we doctors can do much together with you. I am surprised that the DMWV does not distinguish itself more strongly. Why don't you offer methods that conventional doctors are not able to do, for example Ayurveda?? Such healing systems you should write on your flag.
Your conclusion, Mr. Kranich? KRANICH: As in the health system altogether I wish myself also here more transparency for the consumers. It's clear: even with Medical Wellness, what's on the label has to be on the inside.
Mr. Lungwitz? LUNGWITZ: I take away many suggestions. A feedback system is a good idea. We will also optimize our certification. After all, we want services of the highest quality. We fight for medical wellness – also in the future.