£105m should spur medical school progress, says doctors' lobby

Magee College.
Magee College.

Doctors' lobby, the British Medical Association (BMA), believes the £105m cash boost for Derry announced by the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley, today will spur progress on plans for a new graduate-entry medical school in the city.

Deputy chair of the 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."

Dr. Carson said an investment in a medical school in Derry would help ease chronic staff recruitment and retention issues in the North West.

"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 it is so important for our politicians to ensure this latest talks process is a success," said Dr. Carson.