For the first time people living in a border area of Northern Ireland will be able to access urgent GP out-of-hours services in the Republic, it has emerged.
The move means that anyone living in south Armagh can use GP services in the NEDOC (North Eastern Doc) out-of-hours centre in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.
The announcement follows a pilot project between Donegal and Derry and the scheme may now be extended along the entire border.
Health minister Mary Harney (pictured) and her counterpart on the Northern Ireland Executive, Michael McGimpsey, welcomed the launch of the project.
Ms Harney said: "I am confident that patients in south Armagh will now benefit from being able to avail of urgent out-of-hours services across the border in Castleblayney, which will in many cases provide easier access to treatment closer to their homes."
Stormont health minister Michael McGimpsey said: "The out-of-hours pilots are a good example of effective cross-border cooperation enabling patients to obtain a valuable service closer to their home."
The areas which will have access to the new service include Crossmaglen, Creggan, Silverbridge, Newtownhamilton, Carrigatuke, Keady, Kileen, Derrynoose, Milford and Killylea.