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Digital upgrade to boost NHS

GPs in Northern Ireland will soon be able to access X-ray and scan results at the press of a button.

As part of a £300m upgrade to IT services, the Northern Ireland Picture Archiving and Communications System (NIPACS) will enable medical records to be transferred between hospitals and doctors' surgeries in an instant.

The upgrade scheme, announced by the Stormont government, will upload X-rays, scan results and prescription details on to a digital database.

Health minister, Michael McGimpsey, said £55m would be invested in information and communications technology improvements in the next three years, with a total of £300m spent by 2018:

"By investing in technology we can vastly improve the experience of the patient using our services. Patient information is less likely to be lost and can be available to a wide range of staff."

Mr McGimpsey made the announcement at the opening of a £26m state-of-the-art medical imaging centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

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