Business figures in Derry have welcomed the news that the Northern Ireland Executive has given the go-ahead for a new Graduate Entry Medical School at Magee.
The announcement was made this afternoon at Stormont by the Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill.
The first entry of students is planned for September 2021.
The new medical school has been welcomed by Londonderry Chamber of Commerce President, Redmond McFadden.
“This is excellent news, not just for the North West region but also for Northern Ireland," said Mr McFadden.
"The hard work starts now to recover from the impact of Covid-19 both on the health of our population and on our economy.
"A Graduate Entry Medical School will have a hugely positive impact on our regional economy and will provide a significant boost to Northern Ireland’s healthcare workforce.
"By training and retaining new doctors, nurses and other vital health professionals locally, we can significantly bolster our health service, especially at a time when it is under extreme strain."
Mr McFadden said that the necessary work was done to ensure that the first students can start at the medical school next year.
“Everything must now be done to ensure the school is open and ready for its first intake of students in September 2021.
"The Covid-19 emergency has highlighted the importance of our health service.
"Finally delivering the Medical School would be a lasting legacy to the efforts of our frontline healthcare staff during this crisis.
“I am very pleased that we will finally have a Graduate Entry Medical School at Magee.
"It is testament to the combined efforts of those across business, education, healthcare and politics, who have worked together on this campaign.
"As part of the wider City Deal for Derry City and Strabane, the Medical School will drive real economic and social change across the North West and help address years of underfunding and underinvestment in the region.”
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