Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services.
I have always been committed to the expansion of medical education and training in North Wales, which is why I have supported Cardiff and Bangor Universities in their collaboration on the C21 Programme. This Programme has successfully allowed medical students to undertake a significant part of their study at Bangor University.
This programme was made possible by Welsh Government funding of £7m per annum which was provided as a development fund for undergraduate medical training in North Wales. A total of 19 students began their studies on the C21 Programme in 2019/20 intake; 18 students are due to begin the Programme for the 2020/21 intake.
I have recently received a joint report from Professor Iwan Davies, Vice Chancellor of Bangor University and Mark Polin OBE, QPM, Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. The report sets out the options for a health and medicine school in North Wales and symbolises the ambition the health board and partners have for health and care in the region.
I have asked my officials to set up a Task and Finish Group to explore the feasibility of the proposals put forward by Bangor University and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. This group will include relevant stakeholders who will be able to provide their knowledge and expertise to fully explore the proposals. Once established, I will ask this group to provide me with a detailed report including recommendations on whether this proposal is practical and achievable.