Countrywide latest: Connells’ big plan to turn behemoth around

first_imgConnells has revealed its plans for Countrywide now that its acquisition has been given by green light by a majority of Countrywide’s shareholders and its board.“The Connells Board believes that the acquisition will allow the enlarged Connells Group to provide a more integrated suite of services and enhance its value proposition to customers, especially in the business to consumer segment, while building a stronger and more efficient branch network,” says Connells.“As a result of its due diligence review, sector knowledge and management expertise, Connells envisages that the business of Countrywide would continue to operate materially in the same way without significant disruption to either the Connells or Countrywide businesses once Countrywide has been fully integrated with Connells.“Connells’ primary motivation for the Acquisition is to invest in and grow the Countrywide business.“Based on Connells’ knowledge of Countrywide and existing presence in the UK estate agency sector, Connells believes that there will inevitably be some duplication of operational infrastructure between the two businesses where efficiencies may be achievable.”Head countAreas where ‘duplication’ and therefore job losses/relocations at Countrywide are likely include across some head office and central administrations functions, while Connells expects to streamline IT services across the two companies as well as “listing, administrative and other related operational expenses”.Connells says any employee reductions will be subject to comprehensive planning and engagement with employees and consultation with employee representatives as required by applicable law.“Any affected employees will be treated in a fair and equitable manner consistent with Connells’ culture of respect,” it says.“Other than the above-referenced head office and centralised administration functions, there are no specific identified potential cost savings which would involve a material reduction of employee headcount.”No changes to the Countrywide network are planned.connells Countrywide December 31, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Countrywide latest: Connells’ big plan to turn behemoth around previous nextAgencies & PeopleCountrywide latest: Connells’ big plan to turn behemoth aroundConnells says there may be some head office and central admin job losses, but that these will be kept to a minimum.Nigel Lewis31st December 202001,376 Viewslast_img read more

New Zealand Naval Vessel to Visit a US Port after Over 30 Years

first_img View post tag: 30% View post tag: Zealand October 31, 2013 View post tag: Visit View post tag: Defense New Zealand Naval Vessel to Visit a US Port after Over 30 Years View post tag: Defence The United States and New Zealand announced on Monday a resumption of military-to-military contacts as part of expanded defense cooperation that will see the first visit by a New Zealand naval vessel to an American port in more than three decades.The announcement followed a meeting at the Pentagon between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his New Zealand counterpart, Jonathan Coleman.Hagel told reporters significant progress had been made in the defense relationship since both countries signed a declaration last year setting out expanded cooperation. The enhanced ties will include the first joint defense policy talks in almost 30 years. “We look forward to continuing to deepen our defense cooperation in the future,” Hagel said during a Pentagon news conference, with Coleman alongside. “Near-term steps include military-to-military talks next month in Honolulu, New Zealand’s deployment of a frigate to the multinational antipiracy coalition in the Gulf of Aden, and the United States’ upcoming participation in what will be New Zealand’s largest ever multinational and interagency exercise.”In a gradual easing of a policy that had been in place since 1984, Hagel authorized the New Zealand navy to dock at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, during next year’s RIMPAC military exercises. “This will be the first time a New Zealand navy ship will have visited Pearl Harbor in more than 30 years,” Hagel said, calling it “another act in strengthening our relationship and the rebalance to the Pacific.”The policy restricting visits by New Zealand warships to American ports has been in place since 1984 when the ANZUS Treaty between the United States, Australia and New Zealand was partially suspended because of New Zealand’s opposition to nuclear armed or powered U.S. warships visiting its ports. During a visit to New Zealand last year, then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced an easing of restrictions on visits by New Zealand naval vessels to Defense Department and Coast Guard facilities on a case-by-case basis.Coleman told reporters New Zealand is looking for areas where it can expand defense cooperation with the United States. “We’ve made great strides in the defense relationship over the last two years,” he said, adding appreciation for the lifting of restrictions on New Zealand ships docking in U.S. ports. New Zealand’s defense minister also said he is pleased to see the resumption of military-to-military talks after a 30-year break.During the news conference, Hagel also said he expects the ongoing budget sequester, which he said will reduce Pentagon spending by more than $50 billion if it continues next year, to have an impact on the military’s pivot toward the Asia-Pacific region. “Continued sequestration cuts will affect all of our plans in all areas,” he said, but he stressed that the rebalance to the region remains a priority.[mappress]Press Release, October 31, 2013; Image: US DoD View post tag: Naval View post tag: port View post tag: New View post tag: News by topic Authorities Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today New Zealand Naval Vessel to Visit a US Port after Over 30 Years View post tag: usa View post tag: years View post tag: Navy View post tag: vessellast_img read more

Indiana Sees Improvement In The Fight Against The Opioid Epidemic

first_imgIndiana Sees Improvement In The Fight Against The Opioid EpidemicDECEMBER 1ST, 2018 TOWNSEND OUTLAW INDIANA, OPIOID CRISISAn Indiana drug abuse commission has found that the state is seeing progress in the fight against the opioid epidemic, but there is still much that needs improvement.The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse’s report card found that the state saw a 10 percent drop in opioid painkillers prescribed in Indiana during the first eight months of 2018 and a drop in emergency room visits for drug overdoses.Jim McClelland is Indiana’s executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. He says he believes the state is on the right track. McClelland says the state plans to open nine more treatment facilities this year. There has also been a growth in groups formed to address the opioid issue, as well as an increase in research. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Veterans Yoga Project fundraiser set for March 12 in Hoboken

first_img× HOBOKEN–Over 100 residents and yoga practitioners are expected to come together Sunday March 12 to raise money and awareness to support veterans and their families through a Veterans Yoga Project (VYP) fundraiser to be held at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken.The fundraiser offers participants a chance to meet Veterans Yoga Project founder Dr. Daniel Libby and learn how yoga and other VYP programs can help veterans and their families. Attendees can also enjoy a yoga class taught by veterans and light refreshments.All proceeds from the event will go to support the Veterans Yoga Project.Since its inception, the VYP has helped thousands of veterans and their families reduce stress, ease pain, and release traumatic imprints that negatively impact their lives through Mindful Yoga Therapy classes and multi-day retreats. The VYP also provides advanced training to yoga instructors so they can safely and effectively offer VYP services to veterans in their area.The VYP’s work is seen has having a significant and positive impact on veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to depression and certain physical injuries. Participating veterans underscore the VYP’s benefits by reporting reduced stress, better sleep, enhanced concentration and the ability to better manage anger and aggression.“Supporting the Veterans Yoga Project is a great way to give back to veterans and their families, who have given all of us so much,” said Helene Graff, a co-founder of the event. “Coming to the event is more than just saying thank you. It is a way to help veterans and their families get their lives back on track.”The event is the third annual VYP fundraiser to be held in Hoboken. The first came in 2014 in response to a request from the group to conduct fundraisers nationally during Veterans Gratitude Week.The fundraiser will be held in Walker Gymnasium at Stevens Institute of Technology from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.Minimum asking donation is $25.Please register or donate at  www.tinyurl.com/vypcamaignTo learn more, please visit  www.veteransyogaproject.org.last_img read more

Teresa S. Godfrey (nee Sharp) 90

first_imgTeresa S. Godfrey (nee Sharp) 90, of Ocean City, NJ passed away peacefully at her home.A life long Ocean City resident, Terry was a graduate of Ocean City High School class of 1948 and the New Jersey Institute of Commerce in Atlantic City.She had been active in her community for many years. She was a 50 plus year member and Past Matron of Order of the Eastern Star Ocean City Chapter # 83, a member of the Rotary Ann’s, longtime member of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church.Terry was the owner of The Godfrey Funeral Homes in Ocean City, Palermo, Egg Harbor Township.She was predeceased by her husband Herbert L. Godfrey in 1998.Surviving are her children: Susan M. Godfrey, Sallie J. (Prendy “Pat” Pacifico) Godfrey, Herbert L. Godfrey, II, four grandsons: Herbert L. Godfrey, III, Godfrey J. Kohler, Townsend C. Godfrey, Marshall J. Kohler, a great grandson: Marshall J. Kohler, Jr. and her sister: Edna Keller.Friends may call Thursday evening, June 20, 2019, from 6 until 8 o’clock from The Godfrey Funeral Home of Palermo, 644 South Shore Road, Palermo, NJ.Her Funeral Service will be offered Friday, June 21, 2019 at 11 o’clock from St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 8th Street at Central Avenue, Ocean City, NJ where friends may call from 10 o’clock until time of service.Burial will follow in Seaside Cemetery, Palermo, NJ.The family would appreciate flowers or memorial contributions to either Ocean City PBA, PO Box 293, Ocean City, NJ or Ocean City Fire Fighters Foundation, Inc., PO Box 593, Ocean City, NJ 08226.Condolences may be left for the family at www.godfreyfuneralhome.comlast_img read more

Press release: Preventable illness is factor in slower life expectancy increases

first_img With the number of people aged 85 years and over set to increase, we’re likely to see the burden of dementia and many other long-term conditions follow suit. The solution to reversing these trends will be complex as the causes themselves are not straightforward. What comes out loud and clear from the evidence is the potential for effective prevention activity, particularly for heart disease, to improve health outcomes and reduce the enormous disparities in life expectancy. a large increase in deaths in the winters between 2014 and 2018, which was also seen in a number of other European countries – this coincided with the circulation of a subtype of flu, the influenza A (H3N2) subtype, known to predominantly affect older people more older people living with dementia and other long-term conditions, which may make them particularly vulnerable to the effects of flu and other winter risks, and who may be particularly reliant on health and social care services an increase in death rates from accidental poisoning, in particular, drug misuse – this led to mortality rates among younger adults making no contribution to changes in life expectancy trends between 2011 and 2016, in contrast to the small positive contributions seen previously Further work is required to understand any potential causal link between changes in health and changes in social care funding or provision of services within England or different countries.According to the Health Profile for England 2018, the slowdown has not been observed for long enough for statistical analysis to determine whether it will continue. The future trend is uncertain for both sexes but PHE will continue to closely monitor trends in mortality rates and life expectancy in England.Background Preventable illnesses, including heart disease and stroke, are one of several factors behind the slowing improvements in life expectancy in England, according to a new review published by Public Health England (PHE).Life expectancy trends are an important measure of the nation’s overall health. The Review of recent trends in mortality in England looks at why long-term improvements in life expectancy have slowed since 2011, following decades of continued increases.Between 2006 and 2011, life expectancy increased by 1.6 years in males and 1.3 years in females, but between 2011 and 2016 the increase was only 0.4 and 0.1 years for males and females respectively. Currently, life expectancy in England has reached 79.6 years for men and 83.2 for women.However, stubborn inequalities have widened in recent years – those in the poorest areas have seen less improvement in life expectancy than those in the wealthiest. For women in the most deprived communities, life expectancy has actually decreased. From 2014 to 2016, the gap in life expectancy was 9.3 years for males and 7.3 years for females.A slowdown in improvement in mortality from heart disease and stroke – 2 leading causes of death – has had a significant impact on these trends. With 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes potentially avoidable, this shows the importance of addressing risk factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and other causes of inequalities.Mortality rates from dementia have increased, but this is largely due to changes in diagnostic and recording practices. Dementia is already the leading cause of death in women and is likely to become the leading cause of death in men too, overtaking heart disease.The review concluded that a number of other factors, operating simultaneously, have also potentially contributed to the slowdown in life expectancy.These include: A similar slowdown in improvement has been seen in other large European countries. However, the report found the UK continues to lag behind other European countries on life expectancy, particularly for women.Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at PHE, said: PHE is leading the prevention, personal responsibility and health inequalities work stream as part of the development of the NHS long-term plan. This season PHE has recommended that all those under-65 have the quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects against both the main B strains and the 2 main flu A subtypes. Adults aged 65 or over are being offered a new ‘adjuvanted’ vaccine in order to improve the immune response. Review of recent trends in mortality in England contains further information on the slowdown in life expectancy in England.last_img read more

McWell to host events to encourage relaxation, mindfulness in the absence of a fall break

first_imgThe McDonald Center for Well-Being will host Restoration Week Oct. 12-17, a new initiative designed to help students relax and recharge in the absence of Fall Break.In a normal year, after eight weeks of studying, Notre Dame students were granted a brief break to prepare for the rest of the semester, Megan Brown, director of the McDonald Center for Well-Being (McWell), said.This semester, coronavirus concerns prevent students from having the same opportunity. Even so, McWell wants to help prevent burnout and encourage students to develop self-care skills to bolster them throughout the rest of the semester.“There are several different kinds of breaks,” Brown said. “Although fall break is a cherished one, there are many different ways to restore and rejuvenate, and we need to incorporate different types to be at our best.”All week long, students can participate in a social media contest, using #NDRestoration or #NDTakeaBreak for a chance to win a restorative gift pack. The Fighting Irish Wall in the Duncan Student Center, sponsored by Campus Ministry, will also offer words of hope for anyone in need of encouragement throughout the week. Each day, Getting Real on Well-being (GROW) peer leaders will be showing students different restorative spaces around campus and offering various restoration goodies, such as tea, cookies, essential oils and journals. Additionally, students are always welcome to reserve a McWell restorative space, attend daily mass at the Basilica or visit the Grotto.Throughout the week, a variety of campus groups will host opportunities to practice restorative activities ranging from sleep workshops and special dining hall menus designed remind students of home to yoga sessions and a special travel movie night. Here’s a look at the week’s itinerary:On Monday, campus dining services will serve a Hawaiian-themed meal. There will also be a virtual mindfulness drop-in session and virtual restorative yoga sponsored by Student Welfare & Development.Tuesday, otherwise known as GratiTUESDAY, features a gratitude card kit handout, a collaborative drawing game hosted by the Snite Musuem of Art, a virtual racial microaggression workshop, a special Italian meal and more.On Wednesday, the University Counseling Center will be handing out chalk for students to write or draw encouragements on the sidewalks around campus, and Campus Ministry will be offering a guided meditation and prayer. In addition, the dining hall will serve a Polish meal.Thursday offers stress-relief coloring, a nature walk sponsored by GROW peer leaders and a Cajun meal. Students can also visit a virtual photography exhibit or drop-in for a mindfulness session.Friday features a virtual sleep workshop, restorative yoga, a travel movie night sponsored by Active Minds and Student Union Board and a homestyle American meal.Finally, on Saturday, students can close out the restoration week with some free sketching materials from the Snite Museum of Art and a 90s karaoke night on South Quad.The full descriptions of each day, including the times and locations of various programs and events are listed on the Restoration Week website.“Ultimately, we hope this week will infuse a little positive energy and hope into the middle of a tough semester, prevent burnout and help students hone their self-care skills that will last them a lifetime,” Brown said.Tags: McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, McWell, Megan Brown, Restoration Weeklast_img read more

Norwich Announces Major Capital Campaign

first_imgNORWICH UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES MAJOR CAPITAL CAMPAIGNNORTHFIELD, VT – Norwich University President Dr. Richard Schneider launched the largest capital campaign in the University’s 186 years of existence. The announcement was made to over 850 Norwich University supporters during Homecoming 2005 ceremonies on September 24.The campaign, “Norwich Forever!,” has a goal to raise $55 million. Money raised will fund initiatives in NU2019, the strategic plan to prepare for a third century of service, which begins after Norwich celebrates its bicentennial in 2019. Another $45 million will be borrowed to fund additional initiatives. The projects and “Norwich Forever!” funds designated for them include:· $16,000,000. A Modern Campus Center. This facility will serve the entire community. The proposed center will require renovations to the existing two floors of Harmon Hall and construction of an entirely new third floor. It will include open meeting areas and conference rooms to be shared by all students, a lounge and storage area for commuter students, game rooms, a café, exhibition areas, a small theater, and an additional conference area.· $6,500,000. Academic Program Enhancements. Norwich has established five institutional priorities: improving learning, inspiring students, incorporating information technology, internationalizing the campus, and investing strategically. Specific projects that will benefit from this funding and help to achieve these goals include providing more opportunities for undergraduate research, offering semesters abroad, and bringing guest lecturers to the campus.· $5,000,000. Scholarship Support. Norwich will offer “2019 Scholarships,” which will be key to improving academic quality of the student body.· $5,000,000. Athletic Complex Improvements. This project will link Kreitzberg arena and Andrews Hall. In addition to providing a central entrance and lobby for athletic events, this structure will provide much needed new office and classroom space.· $6,000,000. Sullivan Museum and History Center. A new museum, attached to the Kreitzberg Library, will house historical items and displays of Norwich History. As part of this campaign, Norwich will establish a special endowment for the museum’s programs and operations.· $14,000,000. Unrestricted Operating Support. Norwich will designate a large portion of funds for general operating expenses such as priority programs, equipment, and academic support in an effort to keep tuition costs down.· $3,000,000. National Reputation. A comprehensive branding and marketing effort is being undertaken which will establish Norwich University’s identity nationally and articulate the Norwich experience in a manner that will be understood by prospective students, their parents, and the world of higher education in general.· $5,500,000. Deferred Gifts. Deferred gifts continue to be a powerful source of financial support for Norwich University and all institutions of higher education.President Schneider, along with two University Board of Trustee members, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Gordon Sullivan (Ret.) ’59, and Pierson Mapes ’59, past president of NBC-TV, formally announced the start of five-year “Norwich Forever!” campaign during a luncheon held in the Kreitzberg arena.”We are here to celebrate the announcement of the largest campaign in the long, history of our proud University,” President Schneider told an audience of alumni back on campus for Homecoming weekend. “Together we are going to change the face of this campus.” “When we join together again in 2010 the campus will look very different than it does today,” said Gen. Sullivan, Chairman of the Norwich University Board of Trustees. “The changes that we will see, however, are truly in the spirit of Norwich’s founder Alden Partridge. He was a man who created an entirely new way of teaching – a modern form of higher education to meet the needs of the United States in the early 19th century. The values that he sought to impart in his students 186 years ago remain at the heart of the Norwich experience today,” Sullivan said. “It is our responsibility to make certain Norwich provides modern amenities and modern tools for teaching.” Pierson Mapes will serve as the chairman of the Norwich Forever campaign. “The Norwich Experience helped make you who you are today,” Mapes said. “This is still the Norwich we all know and love. Together, working as a team with our fellow alumni, we can protect this legacy for another 200 years.” For more information on Norwich University, please visit our website at www.norwich.edu(link is external) # # #NORWICH UNIVERSITY IS A DIVERSIFIED ACADEMIC INSTITUTION THAT EDUCATES TRADITIONAL-AGE STUDENTS IN A CORPS OF CADETS AND AS CIVILIANS, AND ADULT STUDENTS. NORWICH OFFERS A BROAD SELECTION OF TRADITIONAL AND DISTANCE-LEARNING PROGRAMS CULMINATING IN ASSOCIATE, BACCALAURATE AND GRADUATE DEGREES. NORWICH UNIVERSITY WAS FOUNDED IN 1819 BY CAPTAIN ALDEN PARTRIDGE, U.S. ARMY. NORWICH UNIVERSITY IS THE OLDEST PRIVATE MILITARY COLLEGE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CELEBRATING OVER 50 YEARS OF THE HONOR CODE, AND THE BIRTHPLACE OF OUR NATION’S RESERVED OFFICERS TRAINING CORPS (ROTC).last_img read more

High performance credit union mortgage lending: Member share and mortgage employees

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nizar Hashlamon Nizar Hashlamon is responsible for leading the company’s Client Relations team to ensure success of our clients and maximize the return on their investment in our technology through achieving … Web: www.mortgagecadence.com Details We’ve written in these pages before about the cost of manufacturing mortgage loans and how that cost has grown over the past several years. We have just completed our most recent analysis — working with a dedicated group of credit union mortgage lenders — and we’re here to report that the cost of mortgage lending rose again in 2014.This is not exactly a welcome trend, although it is not unexpected. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s quarterly and annual performance results are tracking exactly the same way. Decrease in volume, because of the shift to purchase lending from refinance activity, along with preparation for the August 1 TILA-RESPA changes are the agreed-upon twin culprits of rising costs and declining productivity. Or at least it would seem, but there is more to the story.Credit union mortgage volume dropped approximately 25% between 2013 and 2014 as part of overall industry contraction. Refinance volume, which at times made up more than 65% of all lending over the preceding several years, retreated in favor of consumers buying homes. While this is good overall news for the economy as well as a strong, long-term trend for mortgage lenders, the initial aftermath of such a contraction can be sobering.What’s a credit union to do? While the drop in volume isn’t good news, there is good news in the fact that credit union membership grew at a faster pace in 2014 than at any time since 1995. There’s a measure we like to watch — one we have observed for years — which we refer to as member share. It is simple to calculate; it is the quotient of total mortgages granted in any given year, divided by the number of members reported at the end of that same year. For the top 300 mortgage granting credit unions, it was 1.60% in 2012, declined to 1.15% in 2014 and landed at .86% in 2014. This looks like a big drop, but it is actually good news. Member share is a measure of opportunity. It declined in part because membership grew so rapidly. New members mean potentially more homeowners who will need mortgage loans.But let’s get back to the issue of rising costs. Another metric we like a lot is mortgage employees per thousand loans closed. This metric remained relatively flat at 17.2 and 16.3 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, but rose by an astounding 50% in 2014 to 24.5. To be clear, it is not that mortgage employment in credit unions increased by 50% one year to the next, it’s that employment per 1,000 closed loans increased by this much.We are not saying this is a bad thing. Employment increased in every mortgage job classification, again using employees per 1,000 loans closed as the measure. One of the most notable increases was in compliance and quality control, which should come as no surprise to anyone. The rules governing mortgage lending on all fronts are much more stringent today than they were just a few years ago. Compliance with regulatory rules and investor guidelines is not an option, and, while technology helps, compliance also requires people.What should employees per 1,000 closed loans actually be? It’s a good question, but the answer is that it is too early to tell. Mortgage lending has changed, and is changing, in ways we still don’t fully understand, at least from a resource perspective. Getting to an answer is going to take a few more years. This is one of the reasons we benchmark lending performance every year. Assuming mortgage volumes remain stable over the near- to medium-term as expected — and the regulatory climate does the same — it is possible we can make the leap from analyzing performance to modeling operations based on past years’ analysis. This is yet another reason to benchmark every year.As for last year’s cost-to-close a loan and its companion performance indicator, productivity? Both are the subject of next month’s article. Stay tuned.last_img read more

Nevenka Kovač, SB Medico: We have a lot of stories about strategies and possibilities of health tourism, and too little is done in the field

first_imgThe medical tourism market, ie its annual turnover, is estimated at more than 100 billion US dollars, with a projection of future annual growth of 15 to 20 percent, while research shows that foreign tourists in this segment spend 2,5 times more than domestic.The potential of health tourism has existed for years, growing by over 20 percent annually, and is slowly developing in Croatia as well. More and more is being written about it, various clusters and associations have been established, and most importantly, Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, without which health tourism cannot be developed. They are the main base, but the institutions themselves do not constitute health tourism. Indeed, they are the first and main motive for coming and the most important link, but their job is not the development of a tourist destination and health tourism. Here we come to the main question: Are we developing health tourism in Croatia or is it just happening to us again, not with the help of the system and thanks to the proactivity of individuals?On the topic of the development of health tourism in Croatia, I talked to dr.sc. Nevenka Kovač, MD, director of the Medico Special Hospital from Rijeka which is one of the leaders in the development of health tourism in Croatia. “In fact, the only branch of health tourism that really exists in our country and is actively developing is dental tourism. We can say that medical wellness has also developed to some extent, although its definition is quite “fluid”; namely, we have not yet developed control mechanisms to distinguish who is really engaged in medical wellness, and who is just declaring so, because now almost all wellness is proclaimed as medical. „Points out dr.sc. Nevenka Kovač, MD from SB Medico and adds that health tourism conducted by special hospitals and spas is in its infancy.Personally, I have the impression that it all comes down to the individual efforts of individual clinics, which invest their own resources, turn out of necessity into tourist boards and DMC agencies, just to offer tourists the whole package, which is neither logical nor natural. Healthcare facilities need to be what they are and the best at it, and not worry about what the guest will be doing seven days in the destination. The director of the Medico Special Hospital, Ph.D. Nevekna Kovač, MD And this is where the biggest problem lies, which again we do not systematically and strategically deal with the development of health tourism. “The reason for this is partly a vague and vague legislative framework, so every institution in the market is struggling with administration, demand recognition, marketing and sales, not only selling ourselves, but the entire destination. “Says Kovač and points out that these are most often people who do other jobs in administrative services and who are not professional enough. “Because we do not have professional training / education for staff who understand the specifics of health and the laws of marketing and sales for the demanding commercial market of health tourism. If healthcare institutions could have professional people who would deal with the sale and marketing of their services and together with tourism professionals create additional programs – that would be a winning combination. They cannot do without each other because the tourist workers do not know the specifics of the health service, so that they can create quality patient free time. For example, a person who has had breast augmentation surgery and it is desirable for me to stay a few days near my operator, and there is no need to be constantly in the hospital, you can not offer a bathing arrangement on Opatija beach, but you can offer a tour of castles in Zagorje. That is why we need to work on the development of health tourism jointly, multidisciplinary and multisectoral, and that is in Croatia hardest”  Kovac pointed out. Health tourism, as well as other forms of tourism, without the synergy of all participants in the chain and a strategic and complete tourist product cannot be developed in a quality and long-term manner. How do health tourism “live” in the Medico Special Hospital every day, I was interested in whether Croatia is recognized as a brand and whether it has value and trust in the European market for health tourism? “Croatia is not yet a brand of health tourism on the European market, but it is a brand in tourism in general. In Italy we are a brand for dental tourism, but we are certainly not in the Netherlands. Therefore, the strength of the brand that we have should be used for additional positioning in the health tourism market. Foreign tourists do not have a generally developed trust in the Croatian health care system, but they base it on individual experiences that can range from the best to the worst, and that is not nearly enough for branding. Given that Croatia is moving to conquer this new market with a strong tourism brand, the main carrier of the development of the new market is the Ministry of Tourism. They have already developed promotion and sales channels in which they only need additional new content and services that the health sector can help them develop. But in reality it works differently; when our tourist board appears at fairs and ask them to put your advertising materials on the Croatian stand – the question arises who will carry these materials there, who will take care of placing them on the stand or who will clean them up and return them if they remain unused, because they have too much “their” material and can’t take care of ours! It always comes down to “yours” and “ours”. We need to think synergistically, the sale of Croatia as a destination should be approached at the level of all available content, knowing that in the end everyone benefits from it – every tourist who comes, regardless of travel, local community and local suppliers, service providers can offer something more. “Says Kovac.It’s up to the people, we have all the resources and potentials, knowledge, experience, but again it’s all about the people. No one is to blame, neither the EU nor any third “enemy”, the biggest enemy only to ourselves. On the other hand, we deal with so many absurd problems that it’s ridiculous, especially in 21st century business. Do healthcare institutions really have to think about the problems mentioned above? The whole paradigm is set wrong, tourist boards and institutions are there for the private sector and tourism workers, not the other way around.We are constantly talking about extending the season, ie the problem of seasonality, health tourism can and must be one of the solutions to this problem. The implications are certainly multiplying in the whole chain, and the fact that Kovač points out that this is most obvious in Kvarner because the Opatija promenades are not full of foreign tourists who use the benefits provided by hotel facilities mostly speaks volumes. medical wellness, and which do not come for the sea and sunbathing but for the sake of well being. ” Health tourism absolutely compensates for seasonality and implies everything in the economic chain as well as in “seasonal” tourism. All health tourists have to eat, sleep somewhere, go to shops, buy souvenirs, go to museums… of course, if we offer them all that. It is a culture of living that is extremely strong in the territory of the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. New services such as systematic examinations or surgeries should be slowly added to these facilities. That is why it is important to connect tourist and health facilities, which is planned in Kvarner through the Health Tourism Cluster. They still have a lot of work to do on this topic. ” Kovac points out.Unfortunately, while we have been talking about potentials for ten years, the competition is not sleeping, on the contrary, others, such as Slovenia, are moving forward at full speed, developing cycling tourism, active holidays and health tourism.In our country, the situation on the ground is in chaos again, and this is confirmed by Kovač, who points out that hotels, polyclinics and surgeries still function as “separate galaxies” and are looking for their place under the sun. “We are still all in competition with each other and there is no sincere decision / desire / realization that only together can we develop this story of health tourism faster. The shift is big back ten years because now at least we are all talking about the importance of health tourism, but for more significant development it will take 2-3 times as much. Where will the others be then? Who will overtake us all with less potential than ours? I am afraid that we will lose the advantage we have in this race as well, given our potential, and that is our beautiful country and our healthcare professionals. We should look at successful examples, such as Istria becoming a destination for top olive growing and rural tourism. This is the result when everyone blows in the same sails and then the ship moves… commitment to the goal, quality on the way to it and togetherness in achieving it is the formula for success and should be applied to the development of health tourism. “Kovač points out and adds that the competition is doing its job and is already making good use of our drowsiness, with poorer natural, cultural, historical and enogastronomic resources redirecting guests that we do not know how to bring.If we talk about tourism, apart from authenticity as the main component, the next is certainly the synergy of all tourism stakeholders that make up one rounded tourism product. We cannot develop tourism if we have excellent hotels and accommodation facilities, and we do not have quality clinics, and vice versa. Also, if we cannot offer our guests quality, diverse and authentic content, which is, among other things, a solution to the problem of seasonality, we cannot even develop tourism. The synergy of all is crucial, and yet it is most lacking. Without synergy there is no success, no matter what certain individuals pull, there is no way they can do it alone.Again, to go back to the beginning of the story, entrepreneurs need to be what they are and be the best at it, and there is a system that I need to connect it all, provide a platform and framework for development, and offer a complete tourism product. But the situation on the ground is unfortunately just the opposite. As Kovač points out, there is no real support for the system or strategic development of health tourism. “Uncoordinated, fragmented resources, and inconsistent policies are the “logistics” of health tourism. We in Croatia are talking about health tourism as a strategic branch, and in the whole country we have two accredited health institutions, of which only Medico Special Hospital has American accreditation (AACI) of clinical excellence. The impression is that there is a lot of talk about strategies and opportunities, principles, plans… and too little work in the field; the flow of information and the interconnection of tourist entities are insufficient and in practice have so far been reduced to self-initiative activities and their own “sales” motives and skills. “Also, when we talk about health services, then we are talking about trust and safety, and it is necessary to have a top and quality service, which is guaranteed by certain certificates. This is extremely important because one bad move, ie an unprofessional omission and incident, can collapse the entire market. That is why there are quality standards and various certificates that guarantee that these are highly professional services – they give trust and security. “Quality is the foundation of the service business, especially health, and accreditation is independent proof that it is a prerequisite for the development of the health tourism market. A patient will come to Croatia from another country for treatment because they may have to wait a long time for a procedure or examination in their country, which may be a cheaper procedure in our country, which will combine a vacation in a great tourist destination with health care, but only if he knows he will get quality service here. We on the ground know that we can only rely on our own strengths. There are examples of cooperation between individual health care institutions, but they are rare and local in nature; for example, a patient who comes for dental services also wants some of the aesthetic treatments. Basically, there is a fear of losing the patient, so the one who grabs him first tries to meet all his needs, which is often at the expense of quality. So today blepharoplasty, filler or botox are done by dentists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, otorhinolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons and plastic surgeons. So often patients get some top-level service and some average. Today in the health tourism market it is not enough to be average, today you have to be unique, the best, innovative. So what you do you have to do the best, but it’s not enough for you to think about yourself. You have to prove it by accreditation where someone else evaluates you and assesses whether you are the best.Quality is the foundation for everything else – Nevenka KovačNot much has changed in the perception of patients, because accreditation has only given legitimacy to the top service we have been offering from the very beginning, for more than 20 years. But our options are now far wider – with international accreditation, we are becoming all the more attractive to patients, as their insurance companies approve of covering the cost of treatment. This is not the case with non-accredited institutions. ” Kovac pointed out.UNESCO has included Mediterranean cuisine in the list of cultural heritage as the healthiest cuisine in the world, can it use this fact and combine it with health tourism, Kovač points out that we can do anything and points out that everything related to health can be used for product development “health tourism” , and so is Mediterranean cuisine. ”We are reluctant to give health a commercial connotation, it is almost a heresy in our area. Health tourism needs to be addressed more by marketing experts who, with an economic perspective, can certainly contribute to the development of a quality action plan for the development of health tourism. We must not forget that the concept of health tourism is very broad: from medical wellness to medical tourism, ie from aromatherapy to the installation of an artificial hip. Therefore, each type of health tourism should be considered in its specificity and positioned in this specific market. The strengths and opportunities, competition and targeted markets of each segment of health tourism are very different and require a different approach and strategy. It should also be considered in the regional context and define a strategy for regional development of health tourism. The region of Istria and Kvarner, as well as Zagreb, given the resources at its disposal are ideal for the development of dental tourism, but not Slavonia, which as a region is more suitable for the development of rural and health tourism (Bizovačke toplice, Lipik, Daruvarske Toplice), as well as the region Zagorje (Krapinske, Tuheljske, Stubičke, Varaždinske Toplice, Jezerčica). As a region, Kvarner is suitable for the development of health (hotels, Thallassotherapy Opatija and Crikvenica), medical (SB Medico, SB Nemec, SB Veli Lošinj) and dental tourism… and in each region the strength of tourist and health capacities and resources should be networked ” concludes Kovac.HEALTH TOURISM – AN OPPORTUNITY WE MUST NOT MISSIt is ungrateful to say that nothing or nothing is being done to develop health tourism, but the fact is that it is too slow, without synergy, connections, professionalism, uncoordinated and in the end unsuccessful enough. Especially when we put in context our potentials and resources, as well as the level of today’s business.As Kovač pointed out, today it is not enough to be average on the market, today you have to be unique, the best, innovative… on average it is not enough and that is why synergy of all stakeholders of health tourism and the entire tourism sector is needed to create pressure on the system and policy. again not from political connotations but from market ones, to begin to respect the profession, professionalism and business of the 21st century. Time flies, we are lagging behind the competition more and more, the opportunity is there, we have everything and everything is up to us.According to estimates, the total revenues that are generated globally in the field of medical tourism today exceed 60 billion dollars, and in just a few years that number will exceed 100 billion dollars. The potential of health tourism has been there for years, and now Croatia has excellent, professional and highly professional institutions, but without a strategic and complete tourism product there will still not be much progress. We have too late coast and climate, top specialized health facilities, excellent connectivity, ie accessibility, as well as amazing tourist stories – we just have to pack them nicely into a rounded tourist product and tell our guests the story.Do we want to develop quality health tourism or not? If the answer is yes, then the rules of the game should be respected, which are synergy, a complete tourist product, strategic development and expertise and professionalism.. We are constantly talking about potentials, it is time to concretize those potentials. Right now and now, because when if not now – when Croatian tourism is a trend in the focus of global tourists and the media.last_img read more