“Here lies the quality physio“, “freaked out physios = panicked physios“, “devoted physios = despised physios“… This Tuesday, about forty liberal physiotherapists from the North demonstrated in front of the CPAM (Primary Health Insurance Fund) of Valenciennes. A rare mobilization for this profession which demands, on the national level, the reopening of negotiations on the revaluation of consultations. These have not increased since 2012.
“Totally unhooked from inflation”
“It was time for us to be heard. The discomfort has been going on for years. And today, this mobilization is surely the result of a complete fed up accentuated by inflation and the Covid crisis which has brought us all to the end in the medical community, all professions combined.“, explains Pierre-Antoine Toffanelli, physiotherapist in Condé-sur-l’Escaut and founder of the collective “Négociations Physio, all concerned”. “Today, and because we are completely out of step with inflation, it is estimated that it would be necessary to work 14 hours more per week to be able to benefit from a purchasing power roughly equivalent to that that we had ten years ago. That we should go from 40 hours to 54 hours per week“, he continues.
“Therefore, we worry about the quality of our care. We want to preserve it. However, with our current remuneration, we will have to be forced to increase the frequency of our services. To take on more patients at the risk of having to degrade our offer, to experience burn-outs, and to lose the passion for the profession“, adds Sébastien Pontus, physiotherapist in Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes. For 12 years, the act of liberal physiotherapists has been billed at 16.13 euros everywhere in France. “Knowing that it’s raw. And that in the end, there are only 8 euros that come back in our pocket. For example, the act is invoiced at 27 euros in Belgium (…) At the same time, we are facing inflation, with in particular a “times two” on our EDF charges (…) There, now, right now, we can no longer continue with this system“, also advances Sébastien Pontus. “Not to mention that we suffer this inflation twice: in our practice, but also because we have bills to pay on a personal basis.“, insists Pierre-Antoine Toffanelli. Arnauld Monneuse, physiotherapist in Maubeuge, indicates that he had to close his “balneotherapy” activity – “become a chasm” – due to rising energy costs: “This situation leads physiotherapists to no longer be able to develop“.
Another claim relates to lump sum travel allowances, “only paid between 2.50 and 4 euros, knowing that it does not correspond to the vehicle used, nor to the distance, but to the pathology“. “And once again, it’s crude (…) With the rise in the cost of gas and our travel expenses which do not change, it is as if we were sometimes working at a loss. A few days ago, I had to refuse a patient who lived in Onnaing. We are in a situation that unfortunately leads us to also have to think about the sustainability of our firm.“, exposes Pierre-Antoine Toffanelli. “And this also occurs when hospitalization times are shortened. Today, patients are discharged from the hospital after 48 hours maximum. And then, they are taken care of directly at their homes by liberal physiotherapists (…) We are therefore in enormous demand. Evidenced by some firms where there are sometimes two months of waiting“. “We don’t want to get rich. We just want to be able to make a decent living from our profession.“, says Sébastien Pontus.
This Tuesday, May 23, on the sidelines of the event, the unions of physiotherapists were received by the management of the CPAM of Valenciennes. The departmental director of the CPAM is committed to transmitting the claims exposed this Tuesday at the national level. An approach to which the deputy Béatrice Descamps also committed, who had also come to meet the demonstrators. “It was important for me to talk with them about their working conditions, their demands and their concern for the quality of the patient care pathway.“, said Béatrice Descamps in particular on social networks.
A petition was also put online at the initiative of two unions. This has so far collected just over 57,000 signatures.
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