Health ministers are appointed in Scotland and NI

GPs in Scotland and Northern Ireland welcomed new health ministers last week.

GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Brian Dunn said Michael McGimpsey, Ulster Unionist member for Belfast South, was a 'surprise choice' as minister for health, social services and public safety.

But he added that Northern Ireland GPC was extremely pleased that the Ulster Unionists picked health as their first ministerial choice.

'We are confident that Mr McGimpsey will master his brief quickly and enable the momentum in health to be maintained.'

In Scotland, Dr Peter Terry, chairman of BMA Scotland, said he was pleased that the three Scottish National Party (SNP) ministers already had broad opposition experience in health.

'The SNP manifesto reflected many of the priorities identified by doctors.'

The Scottish health team is: Nicola Sturgeon, cabinet secretary for health, and wellbeing, Shona Robinson, minister for public health and Stewart Maxwell, minister for communities and support.

However, SNP proposals for 'life begins' health checks for all adults aged 40 in Scotland have been criticised by the Scottish GPC (GP, 20 April).

The Welsh Assembly has until the end of May to form an administration after Labour failed to win an overall majority.

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