The Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ) in collaboration with the Jamaica Medical Foundation (JMF) the outreach arm of the Insurance Industry specialising in medical matters staged a Health Fair on the grounds of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) on Saturday December 2. This Health Fair represents the delivery of a promise given by the IAJ to the KPH as part of the celebration of their 240th Anniversary last year. Unfortunately, the Health Fair had to postponed as the Hospital prepared for ZIKA virus which was expected to hit Jamaica.
The IAJ has been staging Health Fairs annually as while we are in the business of paying claims we also promote a healthy life style as we encourage prevention. Last year we paid $17 Billions in Health Claims. So as we have done in the past the focus at the Fair is on screening through tests such as blood pressure and blood sugar tests which are able to detect conditions that will affect persons health so they can take action. This is in keeping with the Ministry of Health “know your numbers” strategy. There will also be presentations from the Health Professionals at the KPH on conditions such Cardiovascular ailments, Diabetes and Cancers, some of the leading Non Communicable Diseases(NCDs).
The Insurance Industry recognises the issues in Health Sector and are concerned as we know that only a third of our workforce and approximately a quarter of our population have health Insurance. We also understand the financial constraints of the Government to adequately fund the sector. The insurance Industry has pumped millions of dollars into the sector through its Health Carriers Sagicor Jamaica Limited and Guardian Life Limited. This had allowed our major hospitals to receive vital equipment so necessary in providing healthcare. The Sagicor Sigma Run and the Guardian 5 K Night Run are now beacons of Corporate Social Responsibility in Jamaica mobilising the support of the public in these efforts.