Members of the Pancyprian association of physiotherapists began a two-hour strike at 9am on Friday to protest that agreements made with the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) have not been implemented.
Calling all patients and citizens to stand by them, president of the association Irene Zannettou said that “physiotherapists cannot continue funding patients’ increased needs via reductions and cut offs.”
She further stressed that physios are not asking for an increase in their pay but a restoration to the originally agreed sums, adding that the physiotherapists fee has been reduced by 15 per cent for a year now because of the increased, by 30 per cent, provision of services offered by HIO to groups of patients without any measure protect their pay.
“We have had no reply from the HIO since August 2, other than an email from an operator, who has also stopped answering our questions since the announcement of the strike,” Zannettou said.
“We believe the HIO does not respect us, nor does it understand the important role we have in Gesy and in the health sector in general.”
Physiotherapists joined Gesy in 2020.
“A national health scheme without physiotherapists is simply unheard of. That is why we were pushing to be integrated into Gesy, so that everyone could have access to physiotherapists around the island.
“We want people to have access to the treatments they are entitled to, but not for the physiotherapists to pay for them. We are healthcare professionals, we don’t engage in political games, we are simply not interested in them,” Zannettou concluded.
There are 1,400 physiotherapists are registered in the association of which 850 are members of Gesy.