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Government of Jamaica

Towards a healthier, happier Jamaica – June 17, 2019

Long before Dr Christopher Tufton, Jamaican health ministers have found reason to fret and complain over the high cost of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

That cost often comes in the form of premature death, incapacity and illness. It’s been long established that seven out of 10 deaths result from NCDs.

Then there is the loss of production time; and just as crucially the heavy cost to taxpayers who are called on to bear the public health bill.

We note word from Dr Tufton in 2017 that it would cost Jamaica approximately $77 billion over 15 years to treat people suffering from cardiovascular-related diseases and diabetes.

Credit is due to the health minister for his activist promotion of Jamaica Moves, which has become style and fashion across the country — helping ordinary people to not just recognise the value of physical activity but to also live it.

And now we find reason to applaud him some more for calling out the business/corporate community on wellness. The health minister says employers should proactively invest in their employees by facilitating recreation and physical activity.

Speaking at an awards ceremony for an admirable physical fitness competition funded by the National Health Fund, Dr Tufton challenged business operators to see their workers as their “most valuable asset, and the state of mind of those employees as the intellectual force that will drive… (business) competitiveness and success” and therefore deserving of investment.

(Jamaica Observer – June 17, 2019)

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