Reacting to the announcement by the First and deputy First Minister that the Executive is to take forward the Graduate Entry Medical School as a signature project, Londonderry Chamber President Redmond McFadden said:
“This is excellent news, not just for the North West region but also for Northern Ireland. The hard work starts now to recover from the impact of Covid-19 both on the health of our population and on our economy. A Graduate Entry Medical School will have a hugely positive impact on our regional economy and will provide a significant boost to Northern Ireland’s healthcare workforce. By training and retaining new doctors, nurses and other vital health professionals locally, we can significantly bolster our health service, especially at a time when it is under extreme strain.
“Everything must now be done to ensure the school is open and ready for its first intake of students in September 2021. The Covid-19 emergency has highlighted the importance of our health service. Finally delivering the Medical School would be a lasting legacy to the efforts of our frontline healthcare staff during this crisis.
“I am very pleased that we will finally have a Graduate Entry Medical School. It is testament to the combined efforts of those across business, education, healthcare and politics, who have worked together on this campaign. As part of the wider City Deal for Derry City and Strabane, the Medical School will drive real economic and social change across the North West and help address years of underfunding and underinvestment in the region.”