Collaboration between health and the economy is a win-win

Collaboration between the health and economic sectors in Europe and North America is a win-win for us all.

That was the message from Health Minister Edwin Poots as he welcomed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Health and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

The Minister made his comments in Boston in front of leaders in healthcare, business, research and innovation. The Minister said: “The health sector has the ability to  generate economic value while at the same time improving patient outcomes. This is precisely the goal we have set ourselves in Northern Ireland through this unique  collaboration between my own Department and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

“It is well recognised that economic and health benefits will only arise through effective collaboration between the business, academic and clinical stakeholders, particularly in areas of research and development. This message has been reinforced through visits and discussions I have had while in Boston.

“The research links between North America and Europe are key to developing new innovative products and services, which will transform healthcare delivery, particularly in the areas of chronic disease management and prevention.”

The MOU, which will be formalised shortly, looks at a number of strategic areas including targeted research and development and innovation funding, promoting the  connected health agenda and collaborating with Europe and North America.

The Minister continued: “Through this MOU, we will deliver some of the key health and social care benefits that my own Department needs, and through effective international collaboration, we will also make an important contribution to the economy of Northern Ireland.”

Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster said the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the two departments, underpinned the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitment to joined-up government.

She continued: “A considerable amount of work has been carried out between Invest NI and DHSSPS to promote Northern Ireland as a 'Connected Health Economy'. Our goal is to secure both economic and healthcare benefits for Northern Ireland.

"I believe that there are significant opportunities for further collaboration with the Department of Health in order to secure more health, social care and economic benefits from connected health.

“As well as providing a real opportunity to strengthen our economy, the connected health agenda will result in reduced costs and better healthcare for the elderly and  those people who suffer from chronic conditions.”