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Ministers commit to £42m congenital heart disease investment

Ministers have committed to a £42m investment in all-island congenital heart disease services.

The announcement was made by Health Minister Michelle O’Neill and RoI Health Minister Simon Harris on Monday, as they opened the new Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

It includes £1m to improve existing facilities in Belfast.

Ms O’Neill said: "The joint investment, over the next five years, will help to realise our vision of a world-class all-island network service.”

Mr Harris said: “This unique collaboration is the first formally established all-island network for clinical care and I look forward to working with Minister O’Neill and her department to identify further opportunities for collaboration into the future.”

The news has been welcomed by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.

Sarah Quinlan from the group said: “For four years children with CHD and their families have faced an uncertain future when it came to accessing treatment and in the last year alone over 125 families have had to travel to England to receive vital surgery. ​

It is crucial now that the finances are in place for the service delivery to start and we look forward to working with Minister O’Neill and Minister Harris, as well as clinicians and surgeons both north and south in the coming months to ensure that everything is put in place and the timelines set out are met.

– Children’s Heartbeat Trust