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Altnagelvin cancer unit ‘to get green light’

Health Minister Edwin Poots is poised to give the go-ahead next week to the new radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

The new minister is expected to make the announcement as early as Monday, at the first plenary session of the Assembly.

The DUP MLA had indicated he planned to take some weeks to review the decision — despite party election promises that the project would proceed.

But it is understood the first Executive meeting after the Assembly election agreed the minister should clarify the position with an early statement to MLAs.

So, senior sources say, the verdict has been fast-tracked in line with the DUP pledge to reverse a decision of the previous minister, Ulster Unionist Michael McGimpsey, to effectively mothball the project.

Restored Finance Minister Sammy Wilson had given assurances the money for the unit has been earmarked, but Mr Poots wanted reassurances the move would not affect other services.

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