Black Immigrant Daily News
Just before Christmas, the National Health Fund (NHF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association of Past Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (APMJCF) to provide direct healthcare support to the members of the organisation.
The two-year agreement, signed on December 15, 2022, comes into effect in February 2023 and will see the NHF providing direct healthcare support to the members of the organisation.
With age being a natural risk factor for the onset of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), retired Jamaicans are frequently diagnosed with these conditions. There is also a significant financial burden on members of this demographic group, and support for regular post-retirement health checks is needed, NHF said in a release.
The MOU outlines that the Fund will provide general screening tests for:
Blood pressureBlood sugarCholesterolHaemoglobinBMI/Waist circumference
As well as cancer screening for:
Prostate cancer through the prostate-specific antigen/digital rectal exam (PSA/DRE) andcervical and breast cancers through the mammogram and pap smear.
Members of the APMJCF will also reportedly benefit from health education, nutrition counselling, physical activity and mental health services.
The release said eligible members without an NHFCard will also be enrolled in the NHFCard Programme to aid in reducing out-of-pocket costs for medication.
“The financial challenge among retirees has also been apparent. When there is no longer a consistent income, persons are inevitably burdened by the cost of imminent healthcare needs. As the agency with a vision of attaining no financial barriers to healthcare, the NHF is pleased for the opportunity to partner with the APMJCF in addressing these challenges among the retirees,” said NHF Chief Executive Officer Everton Anderson.
Special provisions have been made for individuals 60 years and older through the NHFCard Programme, the release added.
People enrolled for one or more of the 10 conditions covered by the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP) get needed drugs free of cost at participating pharmacies. Beneficiaries are only required to pay an administrative cost of $40 per drug item and up to $240 for six items or more to the participating pharmacy. Seventy-seven prescription items are available to JADEP beneficiaries.
“We have signed an MOU with the JCF before, where we offered screening. From that arrangement, we saw that males especially do not have health-seeking behaviours. I want to urge the men to take advantage of the benefits of this partnership, particularly the PSA/DRE tests for prostate cancer,” Anderson said.