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Health minister Simon Hamilton addresses Chamber lunch

Health minister Simon Hamilton addresses Chamber lunch

The Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s monthly lunch took place on Wednesday at the Belfray Country Inn.

Chamber President Gerry Kindlon gave the welcoming introduction saying:

“We must recognize the importance to the local economy of Altnagelvin Hospital. It is the largest employer in the North West. Because of its importance it was hugely encouraging and important when the previous Health Minister, Edwin Poots confirmed that the cross border Radiotherapy Unit would be built, which we hope opens in October 2016. Not only has that allowed the creation of 215 highly paid jobs for Derry, it has also opened up the potential for more cross border opportunities. The future of health is with the creation of ‘Centre of Excellences’ just like this.

“This council area has just completed its economic development plan. It is critical that we develop local clusters of excellence. One of the four areas where Derry and Strabane council have chosen to concentrate on is in the life sciences, but more specifically in the area of personalized or stratified medicine. We believe we have competitive advantage given the excellence of Altnagelvin, CTRIC and the data analytics capability at Magee upon which we can build.

“Secondly, we have a plan to meet our skills deficit through reaching out to our diaspora to come home and in becoming a friendly multicultural society. A thriving and efficient health system is a huge enabler in this. In this vein, the Chamber of Commerce welcomes the health minister’s announcement this week of a consultation on a new air ambulance service.”