For 60 years, Druskininkai has been home to the Draugystės sanatorija, a source of health, peace and beauty, which provides inpatient rehabilitation, supportive and outpatient rehabilitation, and treatment services for adults. The profile of the sanatorium is the treatment of diseases of the nervous, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems, disorders of the musculoskeletal system and diseases caused by ionising radiation. It also offers disease prevention, recreation and relaxation spa procedures.

In 2005–2006, UAB Draugystės sanatorija successfully implemented the project ‘Development of Accommodation and Tourism Services in UAB Draugystės sanatorija’, which was supported by the European Union Structural Funds with LTL 9 million. Then, LTL 3.05 million was allocated from the European Regional Development Fund and the budget of the Republic of Lithuania for the development of the project. The reconstructed 70-bed sanatorium building, Villa Vingis, opened its doors. The building is included in the Lithuanian Register of Cultural Heritage.

At the end of 2011, another EU Structural Funds project – modernisation of UAB Draugystės sanatorija and reconstruction of Villa Kolonada – was successfully completed. The project value was LTL 5 million, of which LTL 2 million was the support from the European Regional Development Fund, and the rest of the investment was funded from UAB Draugystės sanatorija.
Currently, another project ‘Reconstruction of the District Heating Network’, supported by the EU Structural Funds, is being completed at UAB Draugystės sanatorija.

According to the contract signed with the Lithuanian Business Support Agency, half of the funds needed to implement the project – EUR 131,644.57 – will be financed under the European Union’s Cohesion Fund Investment Operational Programme, ‘Modernisation and Development of Heat Supply Networks’.

Gediminas Kaubrys, Head of UAB Draugystės sanatorija: ‘We are pleased with the support of the EU Structural Funds and proud of the projects we have implemented. The benefits of this project were felt immediately. In the past, when the weather got colder, we used to get complaints from our customers that it was cold in the rooms. Now the heat level has risen in all the rooms and the microclimate has improved. On the other hand, the grass is no longer growing on the path of the heating line in the middle of winter. More can be said about the economic benefits after the heating season. But we are already experiencing a reduction in energy costs’.

Saulius Merkys, Acting Head of the LBSA, added: ‘This project, like many others, contributes to the sustainable development of Lithuania’s energy economy and increases the efficiency of energy transmission to consumers. Its overall benefit is the reduction of the energy production impact on the environment. The reduction of environmental pollution will reduce the impact of energy production on human health. It is also a direct, albeit not visible, support of the EU Structural Funds in the country’s regions’.

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