The Saint Lucia Nurses Association (SLNA) and the Taiwan Nurses Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance nursing education and professional training partnership.
SLNA President Alicia Baptiste told the signing ceremony that the agreement would also facilitate participation in international conferences, seminars, workshops, training programmes, and other capacity-building initiatives.
“The Saint Lucia Nurses Association is indeed thankful for this collaboration and looks forward to a beneficial relationship benefitting our nurses and by extension the people of Saint Lucia,” Baptiste stated.
Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs Minister Moses Jn Baptiste said the need for training nurses was critical now.
He observed that the Caribbean, like many other regions, continues to experience a nursing brain drain as qualified nurses migrate to pursue better opportunities.
“This continues to put pressure on our health care system,” the Minister noted.
But he said he believes training and retraining nurses can assist by helping to promote job satisfaction.
“They have a sense of job satisfaction and it also helps them with their self-actualisation, and hopefully they will remain even though we will obviously have to find some more money to pay them,” Jn Baptiste explained to laughter from his audience.
For his part, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia Peter Chen noted that even before the MOU signing, the SLNA and its Taiwan counterpart had achieved substantial cooperation.
He disclosed that two Saint Lucian nurses would visit Taiwan in July this year to attend a leadership for change programme sponsored by the Taiwan Nurses Association.
The Taiwanese diplomat expressed that the event will equip the local nurses with knowledge about improving practices in Saint Lucia’s health care sector.
“All of this is happening because our countries recognise the important role that good heallth care plays in shaping society,” he stated.