Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Poots announces action plan for Memorandum of Understanding with Basque Country

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Health Minister, Edwin Poots has today announced the agreement of an Action Plan flowing from the MOU between Northern Ireland and the Basque Country.

The Minister today met with Minister Darpon during his two day visit to Spain where he used the trip to announce the action plan. Meaningful collaborative working has already been taking place between healthcare professionals in both regions in advance of the announcement today.

Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to be here today with Minister Darpon to jointly announce the Action Plan on the Memorandum of Understanding between our two regions. This action plan will sharpen the focus of the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Basque Country and will facilitate deeper engagement between us in the months ahead.

“Our respective regions have much in common. We have healthcare systems which are both facing the challenges of ageing populations and tightening budgets. We have each developed our own innovative approaches and solutions in an endeavour to address those challenges.” 

The importance of international co-operation and collaboration in advancing Connected Health is foremost on the department’s agenda. The MOUs and action plans are intended to promote closer co-operation and collaboration on the development of new technologies and innovative approaches to improve patient care and meet the challenges facing the delivery of health and social care.

The Minister continued saying: “Both Northern Ireland and the Basque Country are among only 13 regions to have been awarded 3-star Reference Site status through the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. This means that we are both recognised as forerunners in Europe in having the highest level of health and social care for older people. 

“In these circumstances, it makes sense for us to collaborate, to learn from each other’s areas of particular knowledge and expertise, in order to drive up the standard of care for the people of Northern Ireland and the Basque Country.”

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