(SNO) — Monday will mark a new beginning for relations between Mexico and trade unions in the country, as for the first time ever, the Spanish-speaking country will host a trade union delegation from Saint Lucia.
That is when a five-member delegation from the National Workers Union (NWU) will arrive in Mexico to tour health facilities there.
“This is our first cooperation project directly with a trade union from Saint Lucia. It is worth noting that it is derived from a petition supported by the Government of St. Lucia, particularly the Ministry of Health,” said Mexico’s Ambassador to the OECS, Oscar Esparza Vargas.
The ambassador, who is based in Saint Lucia, said that all of this is possible because Mexico, as part of the Caribbean, is interested and is engaged in the development of the region.
“We consider development cooperation as a fundamental element in the efforts to promote integration, resiliency and sustainability in the Caribbean. We strive to share our comparative advantages in the most comprehensive manner possible, collaborating in infrastructure, disaster risk management, agriculture, heritage preservation and education amongst others,” Ambassador Vargas said.
The ambassador, to strengthen his point, pointed to infrastructural projects that Mexico had undertaken to assist the countries of the OECS to improve the lives of their people, such as the construction of a water treatment system in Dennery, Saint Lucia; a project to construct a hospital in the community of Marigot in Dominica; the Parliament of Grenada and the construction of four bridges and an embankment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The NWU delegation comprises Yoland Mathurin (Victoria Hospital), Mary Joycelyn Popo (Delcer Wellness Center), Nnamdi Obodoechina (St. Jude Hospital), Chrisentia Phillips-Augustin (Saint Lucia National Mental Wellness Centre and Azariah Francis – a registered nurse from Dennery Hospital with a good speaking knowledge of Spanish.
They will be guests of the Mexican government throughout their stay Mexico, a trip the NWU said will be an eye opener for them.
The cost of travel will be shared by the Mexican government and the NWU while all internal logistical arrangements and per diem for the workers will be borne by the Mexican Government. The Ministry of Health & Wellness will assist by granting leave with pay for the said employees.
The NWU is of the opinion that such an initiative by the union will help build the capacity of these workers, who upon return, will be in a better position to continue to make their contribution to Saint Lucia’s health care services.
The delegation, on arrival in Mexico, is expected to follow a packed programme on Tuesday first starting with a visit to the National Institute of Psychiatry to understand the daily operations of a mental wellbeing center, patient accommodation, activities used to entertain patients, implementation of sanitary practices, operation of an intensive care center (acute facility) and the form of food distribution.
On arrival at the National Institute of Psychiatry the group will be welcomed and be introduced to the work of the Institute and visit the hospitalization/admission area (treatments) and the recreational therapy area.
Also to be visited on their tour will be the psychiatric care services (acute facility), the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers focusing on Training in general hospitals, performance standards, health outcomes and patient satisfaction, electronic medical records system, policies and procedures and medication management / medication error reduction.
Other objectives of that particular visit are organizational collaboration, cooperation and working as a team, level of communication between patients and caregivers, motivation and commitment / satisfaction and retention of employees, training and orientation for employees and education and available resources. The trip will involve a visit to the Neuropsychiatry Specialist Clinic as well.