Czech spas experience a steadily rising number of local and foreign visitors from countries such as Russia, Germany and Slovakia. Photo: Pixabay

Prague, Oct 31 (CTK) – Czech spas face a shortage of staff and increasing personnel costs amid the steadily rising number of visitors prompted by rising salaries and an inflow of foreign clients from countries such as Russia, Germany and Slovakia, Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) daily writes today.

According to the Czech Spa Association, private clientele forms about two thirds of visitors to local spas, while clients of public health insurance companies make for approximately one third, MfD writes.

Although the number of private payers is higher, clients funded from public insurance consume more than a half of the available capacity in the overall number of days spent, MfD adds.

Eduard Blaha, co-owner of the Spa & Wellness Nature Resorts, the biggest spa group in the country, said the group had a capacity of over 2000 beds and was going to extend it, planning to build a new spa facility in Luhacovice, south Moravia, in 2019, the daily writes.

Martin Plachy, co-owner of the Royal Spa network of four spas, estimates their visitor rate to increase by 3 to 5 percent this year with investments of tens of millions crowns being planned, particularly in a reconstruction and modernisation, Plachy told the daily.

The spa business is, however, just like many other businesses in the Czech Republic, struggling with a lack of staff, MfD writes.

The Czech Spa Association estimates about 10 percent of the necessary staff, including healthcare professionals, catering and accommodation employees, is currently missing in the field, the daily writes.

The Association says the workforce problem might be further aggravated by the Health Ministry’s draft decree on health care reimbursement for 2018, which counts with a year-on-year increase of 7 percent in the follow-up inpatient care, but only applied to child patients.

“Spas will have to offer a part of their capacity to the guests who will pay the price that can cover the costs of increasing salaries, which have been growing by more than 10 percent year-on-year and will continue to do so,” Blaha, who is also the Czech Spa Association President, told MfD.

The Health Ministry argues, however, that the coverage for spas has increased by 112 percent between 2013-17, which is most of all healthcare branches, and that the growth of salaries should be compensated for naturally by the increase in the visitor rate, the daily writes.

($1=22.086 crowns)

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