Corporate Jamaica urged to develop wellness programmes

Saturday, June 15, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton is encouraging corporate Jamaica to invest in the welfare of employees, by promoting health and wellness in the workplace, which will result in enhanced productivity.

“I am issuing a challenge to corporate Jamaica to see their employees as the most valuable asset and the state of mind of those employees as the intellectual force that will drive their competitiveness and success and therefore deserves the level of investment that is necessary to make them feel motivated and healthy to do their jobs,” Tufton said.

He was speaking at the awards ceremony for the National Health Fund's (NHF) Work-it-Out weight loss Challenge at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday.

The minister lamented that corporate Jamaica has “not yet bought in fully” to the Government's thrust to promote health and wellness among citizens, especially at the workplace, and called for greater support from employers.

“There are thousands of companies in Jamaica who all they care about is that you show up for work , work as hard as you can and after you leave work, it doesn't matter to them….what happens to you as long as you show up the next day,” he said.

Tufton suggested that employers consider bringing in a doctor once or twice a year to check the health status of employees; hiring an instructor to conduct work out sessions at the workplace at least once a week; and providing a healthier menu of options for employees.

“We have to get the narrative changed, which is why we have added 'Wellness' to the Ministry's portfolio to get Jamaicans to start taking more responsibility, start engaging in activities that are prevention related, prevention focused and by so doing really enjoy a better quality of life,” he said.

Tufton said Jamaica has to change its 'sick profile' which includes one in three Jamaicans being hypertensive, high levels of obesity and seven of every 10 deaths being due to lifestyle related diseases, by taking greater responsibility for maintaining personal health.


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