, 20 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
*THREAD* As many of you now by know, last week a sitting FG #MEP & candidate in #MidlandsNorthWest (name is disclosed this time) tried to publicly dismiss the data I presented re: our health system. I've thought about this a lot & am now asking people to #refute or #clarify ⬇️
2/ I said: "Ireland statistically has the WORST #waitinglists in Europe."
(Said MEP suggested waiting lists numbers were high because patients don't attend appointments - and that the technology to collect data could be wrong)...
3/ Throughout the meeting I said:

⛔️500,000 + people are on #waitinglists for #appointments
⛔️70,000 + await #daycase and inpatient #procedures
⛔️80,000 + women await smear test results
⛔️10,000 + patients left on #trollies incl. elderly, and children...
4/ ...thousands are fighting for #medicalcards #carersallowance People with disabilities fighting to access to #education and #medications (e.g. #Spinraza and #surgeries (e.g. #scoliosis)
5/ I told the room that untimely access was mainly caused by:

⛔️500 unfilled specialist #consultants posts
⛔️20,000 #nurses/#midwives left Ireland in a 10-year period
⛔️26 communities have no #GP (700 retiring)
⛔️Nationwide lack of #facilities #diagnostics #beds ...
6/ ...to which I received dismissive responses along the lines of "local businesses can't get employees". I told the room that two shouldn't be compared as the main cited causes for #healthprofessionals leaving #Ireland were #unfairpay & #unsafeworkingconditions - was I wrong?
7/ 🤔💭[P.S. @FineGael @fiannafailparty Can you clarify again why have so many young people left Ireland? [I hate tagging you as you may get more PR/recognition, but I would like a response!]...
8/ Along this campaign I made friends with some of the other candidates, inc. @lukeming (thank you for the shout outs BTW)
While he wasn't there on the day, two other Independent Candidates were...
9/ They chatted to me after the meeting, and again during the week as I was forced by a radio presenter to name her (I really didn't want to) They were disgusted about the days events & said not to be afraid to tell the truth, especially when I wasn't the one "spinning" it...
10/ Pat Greene of Direct Democracy Ireland, said, “The offhand remarks from Ms McGuinness were shocking but when she blamed the patients not turning up to appointments as the reason for long waiting times, I was furious...
11/ "It is a reprehensible statement for the Vice President of the EU parliament to make”, he said adding, “....the glass bubble that is Brussels is out of touch with the ordinary citizen...” [his words]
12/ Mr James Miller, and Independent Candidate from Mullingar said that "Mairead McGuiness didn’t like Ireland to be described, in her own words, as a ''basket case'', adding that he felt “the private banking debts, foisted on the Irish public are directly responsible...
13/ ...for the utterly inadequate health services, and were well-outlined by Olive O’Connor, despite the fact she was continually interrupted.” [his words]
14/ SO - is my data wrong (+/-)? Are patients not turning up to appointments, to blame for waiting lists? Is technology that many #advocacy organisations use to painstakingly collect the limited data, wrong?

AND - regarding: the "offhand comments" which Mr Greene referred...
1/ I started my speech by sharing my deeply personal experiences, and that of many others - highlighting how the system was failing, and what I wanted to do about it as an MEP (Ironically Ms McGuinness did the same back in 2004 when she too was "new to politics". (Image below)
1/ Shortly after I finished, Ms McGuinness told the room "All of us have children with disabilities, and older parents we have to care for"...While I thought it unusual to make such a broad-sweeping statement it was more the flippant manner in which it was said that got to me...
17/ I felt the lived experiences of so many patients, carers and people with disabilities were essentially dismissed as "ordinary everyday events" even though the reality is very different... ( I was also surprised as she is a well respected disability advocate)...
18/ But for me, it is not about the words you say but THE WAY in which you say them i.e. how they make you feel. I wasn't upset; I was shocked, disappointed & from the discussions I had with some of the audience in the room after she left, I think they felt the same...
19/ So I end on this ➡️ If I say/do something wrong, I will always apologise & make amends ➡️ I will always stand up for those who can't speak up for themselves and, c) If I don't stand up now for myself, then I'm not fit for politics. And, believe me, I am. #kindnessalways
20/ Does anyone have more up to date data? @StephenAMcMahon @nagp @IHCA_IE @INMO_IRL @astaines @IrishTimes @paulcullenit

Feel free to tag people/organisations who may have research papers etc....or more importantly anyone affected by the statistics... #EE19
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