NEWS

Inadequate rehabilitation facilities

One wrong move while steering and he ended up in a wheelchair. «When the motorbike went out from underneath me, for a moment I thought of jumping, but then I stupidly thought I could regain control and save the bike,» said Yiannis Rappas, 43, talking about the motorcycle accident he had one year ago. In the crash he broke several bones and seriously damaged a verterbra. Now he is in rehabilitation. Divorced with two daughters, he spends much of his time in his wheelchair, talking to people he met at the hospital. «When you can’t look after yourself and you don’t have money, things are really tough,» he explained. «You need to have someone who can give you transport and help you all the time. I worked as a courier; I was always on the bike. Now I don’t know if I’ll be able to ride a motorbike again, even if I recover. I’m taking it very calmly, although I know that I may not walk again because of the accident.» In his view, the state doesn’t provide enough money for rehabilitation. «Those who can afford it go to private clinics, while others must make do with what they get from the state,» he said. He noted shortcomings in the state-run rehabilitation unit he went to after the hospital: «The doctors do their best but is not enough. There is a serious shortage of technical infrastructure and staff.»