The Ireland South MEP was speaking at a rally in Waterford where thousands demanded what Ms Ní Riada described as “a fundamental human right.”
“I applaud all those from across the South-East Region who marched in Waterford in their thousands to demand that 24/7 emergency cardiac care be provided for the region,” she said.
“The European Charter of Fundamental Rights states that ‘everyone has the right of access to preventive health care.’
“We have been raising this issue over a number of years and in 2017, we actually asked the European Commission if it considered that the people of the South-East of Ireland have access to preventative healthcare based on that Charter.
“We also questioned them on whether the South-East Region has parity of esteem in terms of cardiac care that is available in other parts of Ireland.
“Typically, Fine Gael’s friends in the EPP, their European group, gave a vague and non committal answer but we are still determined to continue the fight for an adequate, fair health service for the people of the South-East.
“Almost 600,000 people are affected by the lack of 24/7 cardiac care across the South East region.
“The most recent Herity report on cardiac care was deeply flawed and it is the opinion of many that it totally miscalculated and misrepresented the total number of citizens affected by the lack of this vital lifesaving service.
“It’s a testament to this government’s priorities that there are always millions available when it comes to supporting EU military ambitions or setting up one of Leo’s new spin units, but the coffers are empty when it comes to investing money in our regional health services to help save lives.
“Until a second permanent Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford is put in place and 24/7 emergency cardiac care is delivered, this issue is not going to go away. I wont drop it, Sinn Féin wont drop it and it’s safe to say the thousands who marched in Waterford over the weekend are not for backing down.”
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