Health Minister Edwin Poots says he’s “very confident” that staff with the necessary qualifications can be attracted to work in Derry’s new radiotherapy centre.
Mr. Poots made his comments in response to a query from a local MLA in the Assembly this week.
The SDLP’s Mark H Durkan told the minister it was crucial the unit - scheduled to open in 2016 - did not become a “white elephant”.
He went on to ask the Minister: “Is the minister confident that the unit will be able to attract necessarily qualified staff to maintain its running?”
In response, Mr. Poots said: “I am very confident. Unfortunately, there is an oversupply of radiographers in Northern Ireland, many of whom are very keen to get work... We will proceed with establishing training for radiographers at an early point so that, come 2016, people will be ready to fulfil those roles and meet the requirement to have a first-cass facility in the north west.”
Mr. Poots also revealed that the first element of the radiotherapy centre’s outline business case - known as OBC 1 - is now complete and the next component - OBC 2 - should be with his officials in “the next few weeks.”
“For all of us,” he said, “moving forward on this project is a win-win situation.”