This year, when Vrnjačka Banja Spa is celebrating its 150th anniversary of tourism, “Merkur” (“Mercury”) Special Hospital has initiated the construction of the Merkur Palace building. The new hotel with its 58 luxury rooms and suites, a wellness center and a contemporary medical block will be providing the highest-level and the highest-quality health-tourism services. On that occasion, we interviewed the director of this institution, Dejan Stanojević, Dr. Sci. Med.
– The vision of the development of Merkur as a leader in health tourism in the country and the region is the constant improvement of the program concept. For a long time now, we’ve been preparing the project which is going to enable us to respond to the requirements of the guests with quite deep pockets, and after we had obtained a series of consents we started building Merkur’s new hotel by ceremonially laying the foundation stone, on which occasion President Vučić and the ministers Lončar, Mihajlović and Ljajić came. We’re proud to have managed to preserve 30,000 m2 of the state’s capital, which we are also only going to increase with the new building. The Merkur Palace will occupy an area of 6500 m2, and will have modern accommodation units, a medical center with complete diagnostics and aesthetic medicine, a wellness and spa center with an outdoor and an indoor swimming pools, a fitness center, a multifunctional hall and a range of the accompanying attractions – explains Stanojević, the director.
The completion of the works on the Merkur Palace is planned for the year 2020, and you are going to construct it from your own funds…
– When my personnel asked me how we would succeed in funding the construction, I told them that we should only work more. We have established an excellent team, without whom no success is possible. Last year, we recorded 205 000 night stays. Today, for example, we’ve got 740 guests; so, our capacities are filled 96%, of which over 400 accounts for commercial patients. In Merkur, 430 workers are employed, one-half of them being the medical personnel – of which, there are 2 doctors of science and 50 doctors of all specialties. We’re known for investing in the improvement and education of our personnel, and our biggest success is the retention of young people. The Merkur Palace is also going to open positions for new jobs.
You see, we wish the Spa to develop, and the majority of the employees are the people from Vrnjačka Banja. We’re rejoicing at the renovation or opening of the new hotels that will be operative throughout the year, which on their part will change the structure of our guests due to their 4- and 5-star categories, which in turn will enable the opening of good restaurants, shopping malls, the introduction of new attractions, etc. Satisfied guests are the justification for all our investment activities.
Merkur’s health, wellness and aesthetic services are also available to all visitors of Vrnjačka Banja Spa, to those employed in the Spa’s hotels…
– Merkur’ Special Hospital has been operating successfully by providing its guests, of whom not such a small number account for foreign guests, with the services of the first-rank quality. Following contemporary trends in treatment and a tradition of using mineral waters which has been lasting for several centuries now, we enrich our offer every year by introducing new programs. For our guests, as well as for all the Spa’s guests, we’ve created health programs for a healthy and active lifestyle, and the wellness programs for revitalization and relaxation. There’ve been an increasingly greater number of the visitors of all years of age, who spend their winter holidays in Vrnjačka Banja Spa. That’s the right moment, isn’t it, for them to check and improve their health, take advantage of the professional medical treatments for prettifying and care, and also to have some really good time and enjoy the nice atmosphere. As Dragan Nikolić, a great the Serbian theater and a guest of this house who was coming back here for many years, once said, “you leave ‘Merkur’ cured, not even knowing you were being treated”. His statue in actual size, which we placed in the Spa’s park and in front of which visitors take photos, is a reminder that we should be living more healthily in order to be happier and live to a ripe old age!”
Center for diabetics
Merkur is the National Educational Center for Those Suffering from the Sugar Disease on the Insulin Therapy, where patients from throughout the country come for (free-of-charge) ten-day education and treatment.
For years now, Merkur has been operating relying on the principles of the QMS and HCCP standards, and only recently has it become the first health center in Serbia and the only accommodation facility in Vrnjačka Banja to possess the Halal Certificate (which by applying the principles of the quality and safety of food respects the requests of the guests of the Muslim creed).