Health Union Signs Twinning Agreement in UK

NSCAG News | on: Thursday, 23 April 2015

Twinning agreement is signed; Heysel and Carlos centre of picture

Twinning agreement is signed; Heysel and Carlos centre of picture

We were delighted to welcome Heysel Medina and Carlos Molina from the health trade union FETSALUD to the UK earlier this month. Heysel works in the Ministry of Health and is responsible for medical supplies and Carlos is a doctor specialising in general medicine. The visit forms part of a UNISON-sponsored capacity building project aimed specifically at women and young people. In addition to attendance at UNISON’s National Health Conference in Liverpool, the guests visited the TUC Trade Union Studies Centre at South Birmingham College and participated in UNISON’s West Midlands Regional International Forum.

A highlight of the visit was an event held at the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Nuneaton, where the hospital’s Acting Chief Executive Kath Kelly presided over a formal signing of the twinning agreement between FETSALUD and UNISON West Midlands Region and the George Eliot Hospital and Nilda Patricia Hospital in Ciudad-Sandino, Managua. Roy Emblen and Sebastian Yuen, members of the delegation which visited Nicaragua in February, also attended the event,together with Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary, and members of the UNISON GEH Branch. Entertainment was provided by the Nuneaton Ukulele Jam Band.

Both delegates were overwhelmed by the extent of support and solidarity shown to them in the UK. They have expressed the hope that the twinning agreement will continue to strengthen and lead to regular exchanges of advice and expertise in order to better overcome the challenges faced by both partners. It is also hoped that UNISON and the George Eliot Hospital can provide practical support and solidarity to their Nicaraguan partners, who lack many of the resources that we in the UK take for granted. At the same time, the George Eliot Hospital believes it has a lot to learn from the Nicaraguan example, and will continue to share information and knowledge on a regular basis.

"The project and the twinning agreement is not just a symbolic gesture. It will hopefully recognise the support our teams and organisations can give to our Nicaraguan partners and provide us with an insight into the Nicaraguan health system, so that we can also look at any of their ideas which might work here" - Dawn Downes, UNISON Branch Secretary

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