A company providing health services is to create 150 jobs in Co Mayo.

Northgate said the new positions will more than double its workforce in Ireland.

The jobs will be filled over the next three years.

Northgate is a private company specialising in public service contract work. It operates around the world and has currently has 100 employees in Ireland.

It runs a newborn hearing screening programme for the Health Service Executive in public maternity hospitals and also operates computer file management systems for several other hospitals.

The new jobs will be in the information technology sector.

There will also be a number of support roles for existing services already provided by its Irish operation.

A final location has yet to be chosen, but it understood Northgate will set up in existing premises in the Castlebar area.

The company said it selected Co Mayo as a base due to the availability of a skilled workforce and in the hope that there will be high number of successful applicants who will stay with the company.

Recruitment is expected to begin early next year.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the announcement was an indication of the confidence in the Irish economy and the additional jobs are "particularly welcome in the West of Ireland."

Northgate Executive Director Joe Bradley said the new posts will enhance the company's contribution to providing key public sector services in Ireland.

Details of the expansion were announced at a healthcare conference in Galway.

The conference, which is being organised by the HSE's West Northwest Hospital Group, will examine the benefits innovation can bring to the provision of healthcare.

Group Chief Executive Bill Maher said the jobs announcement demonstrated the economic benefits hospitals could bring to the area.