Speaking about the Northern Ireland Office announcement of £60millon in ringfenced capital and resource funding for the graduate-entry medical school at Ulster University’s Magee campus

Dr Tom Black, Chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland Council, said: “This funding is very welcome news and I am confident that it will be spent as soon as it is made available.“We have a growing, aging population in Northern Ireland with increasing complex health needs. We need approximately 400 extra medical students-a-year graduating in Northern Ireland who will then go on to work as doctors who can treat this growing patient need. Currently we only have approx 230 graduating from Queen’s University’s medical school.

“The emphasis in this medical school will be on general practice and it is well known that we have massive staffing gaps in this area across Northern Ireland, particularly in the West of the country. We need GPs working in local communities there and medical students are more likely to stay and work in the areas in which they study, so a medical school based in the North West will help address the medical workforce issues we have on this side of Northern Ireland.”