NI Civil Service told proposed Derry Medical School must not be delayed by Stormont deadlock

The North's Civil Service has been told the proposed Derry Medical School must not be delayed because of the political deadlock at Stormont.

Following correspondence from the University of Ulster regarding the business case for the school, Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan, the SDLP's Health and Wellbeing Spokesperson. says it would be "lamentable" if the plans are stalled because there is no Executive in place.

He says when he brought a motion to the assembly on this subject it received unanimous support as every party accepted how transformative this initiative could be, not only in terms of kickstarting the university expansion which is so crucial to Derry's economic regeneration, but also in terms of training and equipping more doctors to bolster our overstretched healthcare workforce.

However, Mr Durkan says to potentially end up in a situation where this major, positive piece of work cannot progress in the absence of an Executive is lamentable.

He says the political impasse because of the failure to form a government here is potentially risking a delay in this vital project.

He says party leader, Colum Eastwood has written to the Department of Health's Permanent Secretary, outlining the need to getting the business plan approved but, there is real concern that without a minister in place to sign off on it, the North West medical college may not happen.