Responding to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State’s announcement today (Tuesday, 07 May) that the North West of the country is to receive £100m for economic development that will help progress on plans for a new graduate-entry medical school in Derry-Londonderry, deputy chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland Council, Dr Anne Carson, said: “This investment is very welcome as it now means that Ulster University can move ahead with plans for the medical school at its Magee campus.

“We have a severe shortage of doctors in secondary and primary care here and only one medical school based in Queen’s University Belfast. Medical students are more likely to stay and work in the areas in which they trained, yet the shortage of doctors is particularly acute in the West of the country where locum costs are also the highest and GP shortages at their worst.

A medical school in Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry-Londonderry will go some way to addressing medical staffing gaps in hospitals and GP surgeries in the West. However, it should be remembered that key elements of project will still need a ministerial sign-off which is why is so important for our politicians to ensure this latest talks process is a success.”