Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Basque links will benefit Northern Ireland, says Edwin Poots

Edwin Poots

Health Minister Edwin Poots has met with his counterpart in the Basque region of Spain to discuss common challenges facing their healthcare systems — and how they can be solved with each other’s help.

During the four-hour meeting with Rafael Bengoa in Bilbao, the ministers agreed to strengthen links between their countries in areas such as health, science and industry. The discussion formed part of the Stormont minister’s four-day visit to Spain.

Mr Poots pointed out the similarities between Northern Ireland and the Basque area, saying that they both have similar-sized populations and devolved governments — and are facing similar healthcare challenges.

“We are already on the same path, so it makes sense that we should share our learning. Over the coming weeks, we will seek to place formal, agreed arrangements around the areas on which we will co-operate,” Mr Poots said.

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