Health ministers discuss Irish emergency helicopter


The Minister for Health, Mr Micheál Martin, and his Northern Ireland counterpart, Ms Bairbre de Brun, met today after the North South Ministerial Council summit to discuss areas of cross-border co-operation on health and food safety issues.

Among the items on the agenda was the appointment of a team of consultants to undertake a feasibility study of the introduction of an all-Ireland Helicopter Emergency Medical Service.

The ministers also heard of the progress of a number of existing and new local cross-border initiatives including the provision of neo-natal intensive care, the provision of cancer care and the development of a cross border consultant-led breast surgery team in the north-west.

Work has also begun to develop shared services in dermatology and in renal dialysis, the meeting heard.

The provision of accident and emergency services, planning for major emergencies, co-operation on high technology equipment, cancer research and health promotion, were all identified as priorities during the meeting.

Ms de Brun and Mr Martin also agreed to fund research projects in microbiology, nutrition and toxicology at universities north and south of the Border, commencing in September.

Shared media campaigns on fire prevention and fire safety are also being developed for schools in the border areas, they added.