The 200 VistaMed jobs for Leitrim will give a great boost to the county and region and through increased activity will have a positive knock-on effect on other service businesses in particular, according to Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP for Leitrim and Vice-President of the European Parliament.
The MEP who has played a lead role in updating forthcoming European regulation of the sector designed to strengthen it while at the same time ensuring patient safety says the sector is increasingly important to our economy.
“This is a very exciting sector at the leading edge of innovation that improves and extends lives here and throughout the world. Almost 27,000 people are now employed in the sector in Ireland.
“For Leitrim this is great news coming from a great company already employing 300 people in the county. This rapid expansion attests to the success of the company which has already recruited 37 and will engage a further 163 at its Carrick-on-Shannon plant between now and 2018.”
Ms McGuinness says the announcement is further evidence of an economy now growing regionally as well as in large urban areas.
She said the new medical devices regulation for which she is lead negotiator for the European Parliament’s largest party, the EPP, will ensure patient safety and consumer trust and will encourage innovation and reduce red tape.
The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) in June backed the MEP’s proposals on the new regulation and is due to come before the full Parliament within weeks. It will cover everything from sticking plasters to contact lenses, x-ray machines, pacemakers, hip prosthesis and diagnostics like blood sugar and HIV tests.
In Ireland alone there are 250 medical technology companies exporting €7.9 billion worth of products annually – the highest number of people working in the industry in any country in Europe, per head of population.