ReBranding Jamaica around Health & Wellness

Keynote Speaker: Leahcim Semaj

  • NERHA Staff Awards Fundraising Dinner on April 27, 2013


1. Healthcare – now the leading edge for economic development? replacing ITC? explain

 2. Where are we now?

  • From infant mortality to life expectancy? Why?

Infant mortality in 1944, it was 98.7 per 1,000 live births. Today 19 per 1,000 live births.

Life expectancy at birth at that time was 52.9 years; today it is 71.5 for males and 75 for females -an average of 73 years.

The total fertility rate now stands at 2.3, moving from as high as 5.5 in 1970, thus trending towards replacement fertility of two children per woman,”

3. The cost of sickness vs. the value of wellness?

  • 80% of Health Care Cost – Lifestyle related issues

What is Wellness?

The term has been defined by the Singapore-based National Wellness Association as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.

WELLNESS … simply defined

•Feeling good

•Being physically active

•Eating well

•Being happy

•Getting adequate rest and relaxation

•Emphasizing prevention  rather than cure

As part of its research, PwC conducted a survey on wellness programs among multi-national employers representing more than 3 million employees worldwide, and found a growing emphasis on health prevention in the workplace. The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Washington, DC-based National Business Group on Health, found that:

  • More than half of multinational corporations surveyed expect to introduce or expand corporate wellness programs over the next five years.

  • One third (33 percent) are rolling out comprehensives wellness programs in multiple countries, while another 17 percent are rolling out a single wellness program in multiple countries.

  • The two leading reasons cited for promoting wellness were “reducing indirect costs associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, disability and workers’ compensation” and “improving work performance, such as productivity and quality.” “Reducing direct healthcare costs” was cited as the third most important reason, followed in order of importance by “the desire to improve the image of the company internally (for retention purposes)” and then to “improve the image of the company externally (for recruitment purposes).”


4. Training doctors, nurses and others for export?


5. Brand extension from the baddest and the fastest to the fittest and healthiest

  • The Economic Impact of Medical Tourism

 The value of medical tourism from North American was projected to reach U$100 billion dollars in 2012 and an with 3 million Americans traveling for medical care.

The potential for medical tourism in Jamaica

 Country aspects are then classified into the three general forms of medical tourism

  • Recuperation, Spas and alternative therapies ( massage, yoga, beauty)

  • Cosmetic surgery

  • Medical tourism (health screening, heart surgery, cancer treatment etc)

1.      Invasive (includes dental)

2.      Diagnostic ( MRI, angiogram, biopsies)

3.    Lifestyle (wellness, nutrition, stress reduction, weight loss, anti- aging, pampering)

Top targets for Jamaica include the Caribbean, United States, Canada and Europe.


6. What makes us unique?

  • JahMeyYa: Our indigenous plant and herbs – Using what God gave to US


7. Isolate our food supply from the destructive forces in the Global Food Chain: GMO, Factory Farms, etc.

 8. Integration of Health with Education and Agriculture

9. What do we need to become a Blue Zone?

  • We were. We need to GO BACK there

  • Food as medicine, medicine as food

10. Next Growth Ares – Geriatric care – Time to build retirement communities


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One Response to ReBranding Jamaica around Health & Wellness

  1. nipha says:

    Great article. Its about time we value what we have and stop looking elsewhere for solutions when we have them right here. Your article is right on target I wish others would listen. Right now I have digestive problems I keep saying if I could just go home for a week I would be better. People ask why, I respond – everything you guys have selling me in tablets/bottles i have growing naturally in my grandmother’s backyard. There is so much more we can do as a country with our natural resources why cant we all see that. Thank you for raising and promoting this.

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