13 March 2014
Health Minister Edwin Poots is meeting with his counterparts in Scotland and Wales to discuss a number of areas of mutual interest.
Among the issues the Minister is planning to raise are tackling alcohol abuse, reducing smoking and e-cigarettes, cross-border healthcare, e-health and efforts to drive up organ donation.
The Minister will also take the opportunity to raise the issue of emergency care and the challenges all the Ministers face in ensuring highly quality care in Emergency Departments (ED) as demand continues to grow.
Speaking before he left for Edinburgh - where he is meeting Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing in Scotland, and Mark Drakesford, Minister for Health and Social Services for Wales, Mr Poots said:
“Today’s meetings represent a valuable opportunity to share with each other our learning and experience as devolved Ministers. I am grateful to Minister Neil for hosting our meetings.”
The Minister added: “I am looking forward to discussing the challenges and analysing the solutions on a number of issues which we all face. Public health issues, such as tackling alcohol misuse and bringing in measures to reduce smoking, sit high on my agenda and therefore I am also keen to learn about the measures being taken in Scotland and Wales in these areas.
“I would also welcome the opportunity to discuss the benefits of innovation and new technology in reducing the burden on our health systems.”
As well as meeting with the respective Health Ministers of Scotland and Wales, Mr Poots is also due to meet with Scottish Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson as well as senior health officials from both administrations.