Coleraine’s voice to be heard in Brussels

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will this week host a delegation of health professionals and stakeholders from the Northwest Health Innovation Corridor (NWHIC) in Brussels.

Speaking ahead of the delegation, Ms Anderson said: “NWHIC spans the arc of the Northwest to include Sligo, Letterkenny, Derry and Coleraine and was launched in May 2013.

“Their vision is that by 2020, the Northwest of Ireland will be internationally recognised as a health and social sciences research and innovation zone driving the local economy; creating sustainable growth in employment, and creating improvements in health and social well-being that will address health inequalities in the Northwest through the utilisation of the most advanced technology.

“We will be joined on the delegation by 20 participants, including Louise O’Reilly TD, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, John Farrell, Department of Health and Geraldine McCarthy, Sligo Mental Health.

“During the delegation we will be meeting with European Commission representatives from The Directorate for Health and Food Safety, The Directorate for Research and Innovation, and the Directorate for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, which we are confident will establish useful contacts for the Innovation Corridor, going forward.

“We will also be meeting with representatives from Invest NI, the Department of Health in the six counties and the Permanent Representative of the 26 counties.

“The NWHIC is an example of how well cross border cooperation can work and it is a positive step towards creating an island wild health care system. The result of the Brexit referendum would prevent this kind of collaboration and therefore it is vital that there is a joined up approach and the NWHIC receives all of the support it can get.”