World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy
In order to contextualize the trajectory of Thermal Medicine, we present here the Declaration of Saint Petersburg, which united different doctors from all over the world specialized in Thermal Medicine with a unique and clear purpose, public access to Thermal Medicine.
Declaration of Saint Petersburg on Thermal Medicine
April 23-24, 2013
The care of public health is a constitutional obligation of Governments. One of the important and underestimated means leading to the improvement of public health is Thermal Medicine.
During the Congress "Modern M edicine of Health: Problems, Solutions, Perspectives", held on April 23-24, 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the "Belye Nochi Health Resort and Spa", in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Chair of Welfare and Physiotherapy Medicine at the Military Medical Academy of Kirov and the 25th anniversary of the "Belye Nochi"; organized by the Ministry of Health and the Legislative Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Northwest Division of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Health Commission of Saint Petersburg, under the auspices of the World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy (FEMTEC), the speakers and participants, including experts, specialists and researchers in Thermal Medicine accept the definition of Thermal Medicine declared before an international body:
"THERMAL MEDICINE is an organized system of providing health benefits in spas using mainly natural therapeutic resources, climatic properties, and education and treatment of patients, promoting healthy living, prevention, and rehabilitation."
The Congress members in Saint Petersburg are very uncomfortable with the gradual elimination of Thermal Medicine from health resorts in many countries, being replaced by tourist activities.
Growth in Demand
On the other hand, the demand for Thermal Medicine by the population is known to be increasing. The reasons for these facts are:
- Society is aging
- Knowledge of health is increasing
- The number of people suffering from modern age ailments is increasing. According to our knowledge, the situation of Thermal Medicine in different countries is varied, but the general tendency is to reduce medical activity.
We would like to call upon governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, insurance institutions and societies to take the following actions:
Include Thermal Medicine in the healthcare system in countries where this has not yet been done, and recognize Thermal Medicine as an integral part of healthcare.
Recognition by governments of Thermal Medicine as a separate field of knowledge that requires pre- and post-graduate education, taking into account the fact that a section of Balneology has been created in the European Union (EUSMA) by FEMTEC and FORST in collaboration with the WHO (Hydroglobe project, www.femteconline.org).
Offer financial conditions in order to carry out research on thermalism, including research that justifies cost-benefit relationships.
Disseminate and develop knowledge about the meaning and role of Thermal Medicine in the public.
In accordance with the aforementioned points, WE DECLARE THAT THERMAL MEDICINE MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS OF EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AS A RIGHT OF CITIZENS WHEN THERE IS MEDICAL INDICATION FOR IT.
Finally, it has been decided to create an International Observatory that could bring together all the institutions and organizations interested and dedicated to Thermal Medicine, and that could put into practice all these perspectives so that scientific knowledge and access to these benefits can be better developed for the population.
Pr. N. Storozhenko, President of World Federation Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy (FEMTEC), Russia
Pr. Umberto Solimene, Secretary General of World Federation Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy (FEMTEC), Italy
Pr. Pedro Cantista, Professor of Medical Hydrology, Specialist Doctor in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM), President of the Portuguese Society of Medical Hydrology, Portugal
Pr. Olga Surdu, V.President FEMTEC, Assoc. Prof. Ovidius University Constanta, Balneal and Rehabilitation Sanatorium Techirghiol Romania, Member in Board of Romanian Society of Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Balneology
Pr. Irena Ponikowska President of Polish Association of Medical Hydrology (Warsaw) Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Department of Balneology and Physical Medicine (Ciechocinek), Poland
Pr. Gennady Ponomarenko, Chief of the Medical Rehabilitation, Ministry of Defence, Russian Federation, Russia
Dr. Thierry Dubois, President of the French Thermal Association, France
Pr. Alceste Santuari, Specialist at EU in Health Tourism University of Trento, Italy
Dr. Alexander Boikov, Union of Thermal North Western Russia, Centre "White Nights", St. Petersburg, Russia