24/7 cardiac care is a human rights issue says MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has stated that the provision of 24/7 cardiac care is a human rights issue and that the Government may be in breach of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Liadh Ní Riada said, “The lack of 24/7 Cardiac Care has been brought back into sharp focus following the sad and untimely death of a 38 year old man last weekend whilst being transported to Cork University Hospital following a cardiac arrest.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased and commend them on their courage in speaking out at this difficult time.

“The European Charter of Fundamental Rights states that ‘everyone has the right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices. A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities.’

“While other parts of the country have access to 24/7 cardiac care, the people of the South East are expected to make do with an office-hours service. This is totally unacceptable.

“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 totally miscalculated the total number of citizens affected by the lack of this vital lifesaving service”.

“Following this tragedy, it has now been proven that this issue is a matter of life and death. I have attended public protests, lobbied the authorities with my constituency colleague David Cullinane TD.

Today I have posed a simple and clear question to both the European Commission and the European Council: is the Government in breach of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights by its failure to provide the same level of cardiac care to patients in the South East as it does in other parts of the country?”

“The people of the South East cannot wait for another tragedy. One death is too many and this urgent service needs to be put in place without delay”.

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