NHF’s New Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Benefit Launched on World Cancer Day
The National Health Fund (NHF) on Saturday, February 4, 2023, launched the newest addition on the NHF Card Programme – the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) diagnostic test to commemorate World Cancer Day, at the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS).
Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton, MP; speaking at the event emphasized the importance of screening.
“Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Jamaican men. The low uptake of screening is a major risk factor, for example of the 5.1 % of men 40 years and older who were sent by healthcare providers for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test, only 1.9% of men in this age group report having done a PSA test.”
“Any socioeconomic group can take advantage of this benefit now being offered by the NHF. Once you have an NHFCard as a male, you are entitled to do a prostate screen once per year to see how the prostate checks out. This is the only way to identify warning signs and take swift action towards treatment,” the Health Minister urged.
The prostate cancer-screening test once annually is subsidized by $1,600 with the NHFCard and can now be done at Fleet Diagnostic Laboratory, Biomedical Laboratory and Central Medical Laboratory. Additional laboratory locations will be added overtime.
“It is important to the Board of Management that we continue to revise our benefits so that we can stay relevant in an evolving health space. The addition of this benefit is another bold step towards advancing the NHF’s mandate of reducing the financial burden associated with healthcare in Jamaica,” Shane Dalling, acting board chairman.
The PSA test precedes several other new benefits on the NHFCard Programme that will become accessible in the coming months, and is the third diagnostic test to be subsidized by the Fund. The others are the HbA1C test, and the Breast Receptor Studies. The overall expansion of benefits will improve access, which is a major priority of the NHF.
The NHF continues to listen to its customers and stakeholders based on the affordability of diagnostic tests and pharmaceuticals and as well as supporting the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ agenda in combating the non-communicable disease epidemic.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton [right], and Everton Anderson, chief executive officer at the NHF [third right] join [L-R], Dr. Earl Jarrett, board chairman at the JCS, Mr. Karl Rowe, signatory from Central Medical Lab, Ms. Neesha Graham - Fleet Diagnostic, and Mrs. Kameaka Duncan-Pottinger – BioMedical Laboratory, after the launch of the PSA benefit at the Jamaica Cancer Society on February 4, 2023.