Magee College medical school delay 'frustrating'

Ulster University Magee
Image caption Ulster University had hoped to welcome the first student intake of medical students in 2019

The professor overseeing Northern Ireland's second medical training school says delays to the project are deeply frustrating.

Ulster University's medical school at Magee College in Londonderry had been due to open later this year.

But a lack of devolved government in Northern Ireland means the school cannot open until 2020.

Prof Louise Dubras said she did not believe the impact of the political impasse would be this bad.

"It is really frustrating: We are ready to go," she told BBC Radio Foyle.

"We have done amazingly well with what we have had to do with the General Medical Council.

"We are ready to roll all we need is a decision."

She said the longer the delay continues, the more difficult opening in 2020 will become.

Image copyright Ulster University
Image caption Prof Louise Dubras was appointed in 2018

Prof Dubras was appointed by Ulster University in May 2018 as professor and foundation dean of the School of Medicine.

She said she was aware of the political stalemate in Northern Ireland when appointed to the role.

"I did not think it would be this bad. I see the impact it has and it is widespread," she said.

About 60 doctors are due to begin training in Londonderry next year.

It is planned that student numbers at Magee will rise from an initial 60 trainee doctors to 120 students per year within five years of the school's opening.

The only current medical school in Northern Ireland is at Queen's University in Belfast.

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