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Magee medical school: Funding boosts hopes for go ahead

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A multimillion-pound government funding package has boosted hopes a medical training school in Londonderry will now go ahead.

Plans to train doctors at the Magee campus of Ulster University have been beset by delays and funding problems.

More than £200m in new funding announced on Monday has been allocated to projects in the north west.

Derry’s MP Colum Eastwood said the funding meant the school can now proceed.

“This now needs to be followed up with the green light given for the medical school,” the SDLP leader told BBC Radio Foyle.

“I don’t see there being much of a problem there, or at least there shouldn’t be.”

The medical school project requires final sign off by Stormont’s Health Minister Robin Swann.

At Stormont on Tuesday, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said he was confident the executive would approve the medical school this week.

There is only one medical school in Northern Ireland, at Queen's University in Belfast.

Foyle Sinn Féin assembly member Martina Anderson said it would now come as a “shock” if the school was not signed off.

The need for a medical school in Derry had been brought into sharp focus by the coronavirus pandemic, she said.

“When you consider 500 doctors had to be called out of retirement, that shows the need now more than ever to train doctors in the north west.”

The bulk of that and the match funding from Stormont announced on Monday has been earmarked for Ulster University's expansion in the north west including the medical school.

Further projects include Ulster University's centres of innovation and excellence in data analytics, robotics and automation.

An Ulster University spokesperson said the extra funding was a "welcome investment".

"Integral to the city deal remains our steadfast commitment to establishing a graduate entry medical school in a bid to address the challenges of a healthcare system at breaking point, and to future proof care provision across Northern Ireland," the university said.

"Our participation in the city deals proposal will see us apply our expertise to help maximise the city's potential in this unparalleled opportunity to boost economic growth and prosperity."

Related Topics

  • Londonderry-Derry
  • Ulster University

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