SDLP Health Spokesperson Mark H Durkan MLA has welcomed support from the Health Minister and the Minister for the Economy for the establishment of a Medical School in the North West.
The idea for a new medical college formed part of the SDLP submission to the Programme for Government as a way to target falling GP numbers and growing waiting lists in the region.
Mr Durkan said: “The North West in particular has suffered from the extreme shortage in GPs and other frontline staff that has resulted in ever growing waiting lists and crippling pressure on our health service.
“A medical school in the North West would be an effective measure to counter this deepening crisis in the regions well as much needed boost for our local economy. I am pleased that both the Economy Minister and the Minister for Health have both expressed their interest in progressing the idea.
“It is widely expected that the Bengoa Report will advocate the need to place more emphasis on primary care – allowing patients to more easily access care in their communities, through GPs and Community Pharmacy, and thereby reduce the unmanageable stress on our hospitals.
“The Minister must now move on from statements in the chamber and pledge to include a new North West Medical school in her strategy following on from the Bengoa report.”