Sanatorium EDEL - health resort with speleotherapy services

Between 2003–2015, the OHF supported Sanatorium EDEL by the overall amount of CZK 1,392, 000. Finances were used for landscaping, flooring in the speleotherapy unit, spirometric sensors, playground and play equipment.

"I am gratified to see that we have established one of the best and finest specialized pediatric medical institutions in this country," says Vladimír Svozil, MD., who was one of those acknowledged in the Outstanding Project Management category at this year’s Olga Havel Award Ceremony. He is the director at Sanatorium EDEL - health resort for children with respiratory diseases with speleotherapy services in the Jeseníky Mountains. The OHF has been cooperating with the sanatorium since 2003, and the director was acknowledged for his long-term assistance to children with health problems. 

Sanatorium EDEL is a private health resort for children with respiratory diseases. How did this non-state facility come into existence?

Originally, there was a state-owned sanatorium for children here in Zlaté Hory, renamed to Special Medical Institute for Treatment of the Respiratory Diseases of Children in 1993. However, there was quite a problem concerning financing. And so, my friend and I decided to establish the EDEL Company Ltd. in order to participate in a process of privatisation. There were eight competitors in the privatisation, and we came first. We privatised that Medical Institute – its operational management in January 1995 and, in April 1996, its property management.

How does the sanatorium raise its operational funds?

We get  95 % of financial resources necessary to run and to improve our services through our primary activity, that is complex curative and preventive long-term inpatient care provided repeatedly to  chronically ill children aged 2 -18, thus covered by public health insurance. We earn considerable funds from our ambulatory services (rehabilitation, wellness), covered by health insurance partially. Other financial means come from our commercial activities (food services, accommodation, buy and sell. In addition to that, parents accompanying young children patients pay 150 – 250 CZK/day extra fee for their accommodation. We are not able to really reach for subsidy grants and programmes, and sponsorship is nonexistent, in fact. 

The sanatorium is unique for its speleotherapy services. What is it about?

Speleotherapy means application of microclimate of particular underground areas to human organism. Such a microclimate must meet many physical, scientific and microbiological conditions and, most importantly, all the factors must be stable all year long. Here, it is so, and it provides the value added to non-affected environment forest area of Zlaté Hory in the foothills of Jeseníky, suitable environment to cure chronic respiratory diseases. 

What are the results of your treatment accompanied by speleotherapy?

Within 12 months after the treatment, 93 % of patients get better, 85% have lower intake of antibiotics, 51% have better school attendance and 84 % can reduce their intake of antihistamines. Effects of treatments last an average of 10 months. 

Does it mean that you would see the same children again after the year?

Approximately 55% of our patients come back repeatedly for a long-term treatment, whichto my opinion proves that our treatment is well-grounded and of a good quality. 

How do patients get to the sanatorium?

Children with health problems come to us on a basis of a recommendation from their paediatricians who suggest appropriate specialised health facility for them. Following the approval by a medical assessors from health insurance companies, we invite patients to our sanatorium.

What kind of different curative procedures do the children pass?

Our treatment is based on a complex of curative and preventive procedures. It includes ultrasound inhalation of Vincentka (mineral water), medical physical education focused on rehabilitation of respiratory tract, long-term planned pharmacotherapy, speleotherapy, dietary plans, stay in clean environment and fresh air. 

What would be your suggestions in order to improve care for your patients?

We would desire to get more patients in their school age – parents of those children do not want to send them to us because of classes missed. However, they forget about let us say hundreds of classes missed due to the disease, though in parental care. Whereas, at our sanatorium, the children can attend our own kindergarten, as well as primary school. If it were up to us, we would extend the stay of our patients from four to a minimum six weeks. And, the same requirements would apply also to spa facilities or initiatives such as Mořský koník /Seahorse/ as they apply to us. Similarly, financial rewards for our work should be comparable with financial conditions in spa facilities, including meal prices. Last but not least, aftercare conditions set by the health insurance companies and by the Ministry of Health should not be changed every moment!

OHF supported Sanatorium EDEL 

„We wish that the right for dignified life is also enjoyed by those who live with handicap or mental illness, abandoned and old people, those who have a different skin colour or a different way of life, those in poverty or attacked by a malignant disease.“ Olga Havel
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