Belfast Telegraph

Health Minister promotes Northern Ireland for ‘Connected Health & Life Sciences’ in Boston, USA

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

Health Minister Edwin Poots will travel today to Boston to showcase Northern Ireland to potential investors as a leader in healthcare innovation.

Following the recent Investment Conference in Belfast, the First Minister Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson, MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MLA along with the Health Minister will speak at Massachusetts Connected Health Week - a two day EU-US Business Marketplace and conference.

Speaking ahead of the conference the Minister said: “Northern Ireland is a very small region within the UK with a population of just 1.8million, but we face the same health challenges as our EU and US counterparts. 

“Demographic challenges include; a growing, ageing population; the associated increased prevalence of chronic conditions and the added pressures which this inevitably brings to bear on our healthcare systems. This comes at a time when budgets are being squeezed ever more tightly. 

“We need to find more efficient and effective ways of delivering our services. This is not a choice, it is an imperative. I have no doubt that in so doing, not only can we find better ways of providing care to our patients and service users, but we can also bring a stimulus to the economy. Our response to these challenges has sought to embrace both the health-related and the economic opportunities.

“Over the last two years we have also devoted considerable energy to advancing the Connected Health and Prosperity agenda in Northern Ireland. This programme of work is shared between me as Health Minister and our Economy Minister, Arlene Foster, and it recognises the strong correlation between a healthy population and a prosperous economy.” 

In conjunction with Invest NI, the Minister will host a dinner for a number of companies to set out the health strategy and the opportunities which technology could bring to the delivery of health and social care in Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: “Northern Ireland has taken some big strides in healthcare delivery over the past few years, but I know that we can go much further. There is clearly a need for research, development and innovation in health and life sciences to support the transformation of our health and social care services. This is where industry can make a significant contribution.”

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