Health and Wellness Minister Mary Isaac has urged Saint Lucia trade unions to cooperate with the government and people of this country amidst the current COVID-19 crisis.
“We are in an emergency and at this point in time our prime concern is protecting the people of Saint Lucia,” Isaac told reporters Tuesday.
She spoke one day before the scheduled official transition of Victoria Hospital to the Owen King European Union Hospital (OKEUH).
Isaac, a former trade unionist, disclosed that the transition is expected to be complete by Friday.
Victoria Hospital (VH) will be used as a respiratory hospital.
However the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) of which the Health Minister was once President, has raised concerns about the employment status of staff who will move from VH.
“Our position has always been and will always be that given Sections 34 of the principle Act, Millennium Development No. 1 of 2015, the staff currently employed with Victoria Hospital, the National Wellness Centre and Turning Point Rehabilitation Center be absorbed into OKEU as full time employees and not on contract,” the CSA asserted in a recent statement.
However the Minister of Health believes that protecting the health of Saint Lucians should now be everyone’s concern.
“I have unions that are much bigger than the ones we have in Saint Lucia in other developed countries actually calling the government and informing them that they are going to cooperate,” Senator Isaac observed.
“So I want to call on the unions to cooperate with the government and people of Saint Lucia so thatwe can arrest this problem that we are having,” the former CSA President said