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Health Minister hosts reception for deploying healthcare reservists‬

Health Minister Edwin Poots today hosted a reception at Hillsborough Castle for the 204 (North Irish) Field Hospital who will be deploying shortly to Afghanistan for a three month tour of duty.‬
Sunday, 11 November 2012

Some 38 personnel will be deployed to the UK Medical Group hospital at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province. The reservists, from a wide range of specialties across the health service, will provide critical medical support to the Armed Forces and the Afghan National Army, the Taliban and Afghan civilians including children.‬

Mr Poots said: "I wish our colleagues in 204 Field Hospital well on their deployment. The members of the Field Hospital will bring a variety of skills and expertise from the health and social care system as well as the independent sector.‬

‪"In Northern Ireland, we have unfortunately had a lot of experience in trauma treatment and that expertise is now available to those serving in Afghanistan.‬

‪"We wish our colleagues a safe tour of duty and we are very proud of their commitment to delivering the very best health care to not only those serving in the Armed Forces but also the citizens of Afghanistan."‬

The reception was attended by the families of those who will be deploying and by a wide cross representation of political life including Rt Hon Jeffery Donaldson MP and members of the Assembly.‬ ‪‬

Major General Rowan, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff at the MOD was also in attendance.‬

Notes to Editors‬

1. The 204 (North Irish) Field Hospital (Volunteers) is Northern Ireland’s only TA field hospital and will be deploying to Afghanistan from January until mid-April. This is their second deployment to Afghanistan, the last one being in 2008.‬

2. Media queries, please contact DHSSPS Information Office on 028 9052 0575. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.‬