The budget deal agreed between Plaid Cymru and Labour at the National Assembly includes funding for developing a Bangor Medical School. This was confirmed by Arfon Assembly Member Siân Gwenllian who has been campaigning vigorously for the training of doctors in north Wales since her election five months ago.
Arfon AM Siân Gwenllian said:
"During my election campaign at the beginning of this year, I vowed that I would do everything I can to realise the goal of getting a medical school for Bangor. There are two medical schools in south Wales and it's high time that doctors are trained in the north too.”
“This would begin to address the lack of doctors and GPs in our area. Evidence shows that doctors stay to work in the area were they have been trained. The medical school can build on the excellent partnership work already being done by Bangor University and the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.”
“I was delighted that the deal struck between Plaid and Labour on the 2017/18 draft Welsh budget includes a financial commitment to a Bangor medical school. I now look forward to seeing the business case which is being prepared and to the detailed discussions that now need to take place between all the partners."
Siân Gwenllian’s campaign to establish the Medical School has been endorsed by two medical students from north Wales. Catrin Elin Owen and Elen Berry, from Pen Llyn and Denbigh, are both studying medicine in Cardiff and would have liked the opportunity to study closer to home.
Catrin Elin Owen said,
“I have just been on a placement at Ysbyty Gwynedd spending time in the Neurology Department as well as Psychology and Oncology and I had a fantastic experience. Ysbyty Gwynedd works with Glan Clwyd and with Walton in Liverpool to give students a broad experience, so the infrastructure is already in place to build a medical school.”
Elen Berry from Denbigh is also on her fourth year in Cardiff but is unsure at present which path she wants to take in medicine.
“I experience a bit of prejudice when students are offered placements to Bangor – they’re not keen on going because so many people think there’s nothing there and nothing to do, but everyone I have spoken to on their return from Bangor have nothing but positive things to say. I very much hope there will be a Medical School in Bangor in the near future, it would solve so many problems and give aspiring medics more options.”