O’Neill and McCallion in talks on Medical School

Sinn Fein Leader in the North of Ireland, Michelle O'Neill.
Sinn Fein Leader in the North of Ireland, Michelle O'Neill.

Sinn Féin Leader in the North Michelle O’Neill and local MP Elisha McCallion are to hold a number of engagements over the coming days to seek to resolve concerns over feared delays to the planned Medical School at Magee.

Elisha McCallion revealed that her party leader is to raise the matter with the head of the Civil Service, the head of the Health Department and Ulster University.

“Michelle and I will be involved in a number of meetings and engagements over the coming days as part of an intensive effort to ensure the medical school stays on track,” the Foyle Sinn Féin MP said.

“Locally, Sinn Féin have been continually engaging with the university and they assure us they remain fully committed to the medical school.

“Obviously, recent claims from within the Health Department that the project could be delayed have caused understandable concern.

“The medical school is a ground-breaking project, both for the expansion of Magee and the development of our overall economy, so we will be seeking firm assurances from all the key stakeholders that it remains on course to take its first intake of students in September 2019.”

The university aims to welcome the first intake of 60 medical students in 2019, increasing to 120 students each year over a five-year period.

However Ulster University recently confirmed that the development remains reliant on political decisions being taken.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said last week: “The Department received an outline business case from Ulster University in October.

“This will be considered in the context of an ongoing review of regional medical training place needs, on which both of the local universities are represented, which is due to report in June 2018.”