| 11.1°C Belfast

£56m cancer unit gets go-ahead

Close

DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots has announced that a new cancer treatment unit in Londonderry will go ahead

DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots has announced that a new cancer treatment unit in Londonderry will go ahead

DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots has announced that a new cancer treatment unit in Londonderry will go ahead

A new £56 million cancer treatment unit in Londonderry has been given the go-ahead just two months after the project was controversially shelved.

DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots reversed the decision made by his Ulster Unionist predecessor Michael McGimpsey in March.

Mr McGimpsey claimed he did not have the cash to fund the radiotherapy facility at Altnagelvin hospital, particularly the money needed to train specialists to staff it ahead of its anticipated opening in five years' time.

At the time he also expressed concerns that the incoming Irish Government may not be able to meet the state's multi-million pledge to part fund the centre, which would offer care to patients across the border in Donegal.

But making his first major announcement in office, Mr Poots told the Assembly that he was releasing the £56 million needed to build the unit and £14.5 million for start up costs, including the bill for staff training.

He also committed to providing an extra £9 million for annual operating costs, bringing the provisional amount available to run the centre to around £22/23 million a year.

He said the authorities in Dublin had given "firm assurances" that they will honour their 19 million euro (£16.4 million) funding commitment.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"Making a decision on the proposed radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin was my first priority as Health Minister," he said.

"It was vital that I took the time to look at all the evidence properly to reach the right decision for the right reasons.

"I have now thoroughly reviewed all the relevant information and I have decided to make the necessary funding - both current and capital - available. This amounts to £56 million being made available to build the unit and an estimated additional £9 million being made available over current service provision for running costs."


Top Videos



Privacy