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Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement meeting in Letterkenny General Hospital

A delegation from the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement met with representatives from the West/North West Hospitals Group in Letterkenny today. The purpose of the visit was to further develop the Committee’s understanding of the areas where cross-border cooperation in healthcare might be advanced. Examples of constructive engagement on advancing healthcare cross border include a new state of the art radiotherapy centre, one-third funded by the Irish Government, that will be opened at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry in 2016 to serve a catchment area of 500,000 people in the Northwest. The assistance and cooperation of Altnagelvin following the serious flooding of Letterkenny hospital last year is another example. The delegation was led by Committee Chairman Joe McHugh TD.
Bill Maher, CEO of the West / North West Hospitals Group provided the delegation with an overview of the Group and the priorities for 2014. One of the major projects for the Group this year is to complete the Letterkenny Hospital rebuild programme following a devastating flood at the end of July which wiped out 40% of the hospital and was without doubt the most serious natural disaster to befall any Irish hospital. All the resources of the Group were put into play in the immediate aftermath of the flood and incredibly an interim Emergency Department was built and reopened three weeks after the flood. The next step will be the re-opening of the permanent Emergency Department in March and the re-opening of the other Departments which require rebuilding, as the year progresses.