McLaughlin: Time is of the essence for Magee medical school
Speaking after proposing that Council write to the Department for Economy to express the importance of the project, Cllr McLaughlin said:
“I am concerned for the progress of Ulster University's Postgraduate Medical School as time is once again running out to get approval to proceed with the development of a medical school.
"The medical school has experienced delay after delay and if the business case does not move forward and receive approval by the end of May, the project will be delayed for a further twelve months. This means that students would not be able to commence their studies on the Magee Campus before October 2021, despite expectations that the first intake of students would take place this September 2019.
"Ulster University's expansion is fundamental to delivering an effective City Deal for Derry. It is not clear at this stage if approval can be given in the absence of a sitting Executive; if this is the case, then the City is once again being failed by dysfunctional politicals.
"I proposed at Council’s Governance and Strategic Planning Committee that we write to the Permanent Secretary for the Department for the Economy to ask the Department to proceed with urgency to get approval for the medical school within the next four months. Time is of the essence and it is imperative that this project does not get knocked back into the long grass again.
"The SDLP have always been eager to see this project operational and we will continue to actively pursue this matter in the coming months."