The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) has welcomed the decision by the Northern Ireland Executive to establish a Graduate Entry Medical School at Ulster University’s Magee campus.
Dr Anne Kilgallen, Western Trust Chief Executive said: “We are delighted with this landmark announcement which will open up more opportunities for doctors to be trained here and to experience what it is like to live and work in this beautiful part of the world.
“We will continue to support our colleagues in Ulster University to take this decision forward with the anticipation that the first students will begin training in September 2021.”
Dr Kilgallen added: “We are extremely proud of all our staff who have continued to deliver high quality compassionate care to our patients during the global Covid-19 Pandemic. The announcement of the Medical School gives us all hope for the future and is very much a good news story for our staff and the community we serve.”
Western Trust Medical Director, Dr Catherine McDonnell explained: “The Western Trust experiences particular challenges recruiting medical staff due to its geographical location and has historically relied on the use of locums. It is incredibly important that we grow and attract more young people locally to pursue a career in medicine. This very visionary action will help towards enhancing workforce and creating greater sustainability in our local services into the future.”
Dr McDonnell added: “We have long established links with our excellent schools and colleges across the Western Trust geography and Co Donegal and welcome students to our medical and dental careers events every year. This demonstrates our commitment to grow and nurture our highly talented young people to become future healthcare heroes working and caring for their local population.”