Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has set-up a group to examine the feasibility of a North Wales medical school.
The Welsh Government is already providing £7m a year to fund undergraduate medical training in North Wales and is now looking to explore a proposal by Bangor University and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board for a new medical school.
A total of 19 students began their studies at Bangor University in 2019/20 and 18 are due to begin the C21 Programme in 2020/21.
Mr Gething said: “I am committed to the expansion of medical education and training in North Wales to help with recruitment of doctors in the region. The Welsh Government has already provide funding to allow Cardiff University students to undertake part of their studies in Bangor University.
I want to see if this proposal from Bangor University and the health board is practical and achievable, and if it can be the next step in expanding medical training in North Wales.”
A Welsh Government Task and Finish Group will examine the new proposals and report back to the Minister by summer 2021 with recommendations.
Mark Polin, Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “I am delighted that the Welsh Government are supporting our ambitious vision, in partnership with Bangor University, which would enable North Wales to train and retain its own medical workforce for the future. This is an issue that clinical colleagues and I feel very passionate about as it has great potential to benefit the health service and, most importantly, our patients.
“Convening a group of stakeholders to work together to explore and develop our proposals is an important next step in turning our vision of a North Wales medical school into a reality.
“My thanks go to colleagues and partners that have worked so hard on developing the proposals and outline business case to get us to this stage. Health Board colleagues and I look forward to playing an active role in taking this work forward.”
Bangor University Vice Chancellor Professor Iwan Davies commented: “As a research driven University for the region, it has long been our ambition to bring medical education to North Wales. Our partnership with Cardiff University has enabled us to deliver a full medicine programme in North Wales for the first time. It is essential that we grow that capacity and develop a truly inter-professional school which delivers for the region and for the regional economy. We welcome this next step announced by the Welsh Government / Minister today and look forward to working with our partners and with the Welsh Government to explore this fully.”