Cyprus Mail

’74 war veterans appeal for rapid medical care

Nicosia under fire in 1974

By Constantinos Psillides

NATIONAL Guard veterans who were wounded or crippled during the Turkish invasion in 1974 want the state to put an end to bureaucracy and help them get proper treatment.

Appearing before the House Defence committee, the disabled veterans said that they have to endure several hearings by the state medical board to have their treatments covered.

Giorgos Groutides of the Cyprus War Veterans’ Relief Organisation told MPs that due to overlapping jurisdiction and delays to have their applications reviewed, the wounded veterans don’t receive treatment in time or are forced to cut it short to attend medical board hearings.

“Our members have serious problems with their bills. There are amputated soldiers who replaced their prosthetic limbs four years ago and the provider still hasn’t been paid, which forced them to deny any further treatment to the amputee. I had to cut short my treatment in Israel because I had to return to appear before the medical board. I’ve been here for a month but I still need an operation,” said Groutides.

The head of the organisation also called upon the state to establish a committee to provide support for the women who were raped during the invasion. “These women isolate themselves and don’t come forward. They need help,” Groutides explained.

“The state has to respect these people. It is with great sadness that we had to resort to the House with our demands, but the state has given us no option.”

Committee chairman Giorgos Varnava told the press that the MPs gave all competent authorities two months to resolve these problems.

“It is unacceptable that these people, who have fought to protect our democracy, now have to go through such lengths to get what is rightfully theirs. These people should not be reduced to begging for their health benefits,” stressed Varnava.

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