eHealth and Prosperity at Centre of Commissioner Visit


Northern Ireland’s eHealth and prosperity agenda was highlighted during a visit by Commissioner Tonio Borg to Belfast City Hospital on Tuesday 14th May.


Health Minister Edwin Poots invited EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs Tonio Borg to travel to Northern Ireland to show him developments in innovation in Health, in particular in the context of Northern Ireland’s Connected Health and Prosperity agenda.


Speaking about the visit to the City Hospital, the Minister said: “Northern Ireland has the fastest growing population in the UK and an increasing ageing population. At this time, we also face challenging economic circumstances with increasingly constrained financial resources and budgetary pressures. Hence the need for a radical and strategic approach.”

During the visit to Belfast City Hospital, the Minister and Commissioner saw a number of innovative solutions to healthcare at work including; an overview of the Community Information System; how mobility is being addressed within the community and using video-conferencing to address the needs of clinical consultations.

The Minister continued: “We have many strengths to help us face these challenges. I believe that we have a lot to offer other regions from Europe but equally we have a lot to learn from what others are doing. We already have strong relationships with several regions including the Basque and Catalan regions in Spain, Oulu in Finland, and our neighbours in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

“I want to see us go further. Our commitments to the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing and our application to become a Reference Site will allow us to develop valuable new networks in Europe – and raise the profile of Northern Ireland in the Connected Health arena.”

Speaking about the visit Belfast Trust Chief Executive Colm Donaghy added, “Belfast Trust was delighted to share a flavour of the innovative e health solutions that we believe will improve the quality of services we provide and enhance our patients’ experience of care”

The European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs, Tonio Borg, is visiting Belfast on 13 and 14 May as a brief detour from eHealth Week events in Dublin.