Council welcomes approval for Medical School for Magee
18 May 2020
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Michaela Boyle has welcomed confirmation from the Executive Office today that the Graduate Entry Medical School at Ulster University’s Magee Campus has been given the green light.
Welcoming the announcement that was made today at the NI Executive Press Briefing by the Deputy First Minister, Mayor Boyle said this was a great day for Derry and the wider North West region, and comes just weeks after £105m in match funding was secured by the Department for Finance for the City Deal and Inclusive Future Fund, bringing the totality of City Deal funding to £210m.
Speaking on the importance of the Graduate Entry Medical School, the Mayor said it had the potential to transform the region and bring about real growth and prosperity.
She said: “The Graduate Medical Entry School at Magee is a key catalyst regeneration project that has been identified by Council and key partners as critical in assisting us all achieve growth and prosperity for the Derry City and Strabane District Council area and wider North West City Region.
“A Medical School in Derry will complement and support the existing positive work being carried out by the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (CTRIC) and Cognitive Analytics Research Laboratory (CARL). In tandem, the announcement today will allow us to produce GPs for the North West region and provide us with a test bed for the development of key technologies in a clinical and academic setting. It will allow CTRIC to explore new opportunities in terms of facilitating new research in geonomics and the use of cognitive analytics in the area of general medicine.”
The Mayor paid tribute to everyone involved in getting the project over the line and praised the collaborative approach adopted by the city and district in securing this important project for the city.
She said the project had full cross-party support and its significance to the North West and to Northern Ireland as a whole was widely acknowledged, with Derry City and Strabane District Council also voting unanimously on a number of occasions in support of the project.
Mayor Boyle added that the Medical School and expansion of Ulster University will deliver new research posts and additional students, as well as further enhance the region’s profile as a hub of academic excellence and innovation.
She commented: “With its educational focus on general practice, there is substantive evidence that the Graduate Entry Medical programme delivers doctors who are likely to remain in the region in which they trained. A local Medical School will therefore provide a clear route to improving the health of the city and district and wider region in the medium to long-term by increasing the number of doctors working and living locally.
“The current pressures on the healthcare system due to COVID-19 have further highlighted the need to equip our communities with medical professionals of the highest order and news that the Medical School is going ahead couldn’t come at a better time.”
Acknowledging receipt of the funding the Mayor said she was confident that Ulster University can now meet the General Medical Council requirement to facilitate the recruitment and admissions for an initial intake of students in September 2021.
Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie said confirmation of funding for the Medical School was a hugely significant part of the overall growth of the City Region, included in the City Deal proposals.
He said: “A medical school is an essential resource for the North West with the potential to boost the region’s profile as a centre of clinical excellence and innovation, in tandem with the pioneering research work that is currently taking place at Altnagelvin. This is excellent news for the city and district and the wider region with the potential to transform our future for the better.
“In terms of capital development the proposed riverfront development planned to facilitate the Medical School and expansion will also have a positive impact on Derry’s city centre, driving footfall and commerce into the heart of the city.”
John Kelpie added that the Council is committed to continuing to work with Ulster University, Government and a range of stakeholders and partners to deliver on all these catalyst regeneration projects.
“By working in collaboration, and with a joint ambition to bring about growth and prosperity and a better future for our young people, we can make this happen.”