Wed | Dec 7, 2016

NHF provides billions to thousands of beneficiaries

Published:Tuesday | January 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Everton Anderson, chief executive officer of the National Health Fund (NHF)

The National Health Fund (NHF) enrolled approximately 38,000 new beneficiaries in 2014. This included just over 27,500 persons for the NHF Card and nearly 10,500 persons for the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP).

During the year, 217,000 NHF Card beneficiaries received $3.6 billion in subsidies to fill just over 3.7 million prescription items.

Everton Anderson, chief executive officer of the NHF, said: "NHF continues to reach out to Jamaicans with specified chronic illnesses to enroll them for benefits under the NHF Card and JADEP programmes, and to help them to reduce the cost of medication that will better control their health condition.

"On average, persons with NHF cards received a 50 per cent subsidy on their prescription drugs. This represents significant assistance for many individuals suffering with chronic conditions."

During 2014, the NHF also conducted 76 community health days across the island in both rural and urban communities, offering just over 48,000 health checks, including blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, haemoglobin, ECGs, and vision checks. These tests provided individuals with information on their health status, and persons with abnormal results all received individual counseling.

Anderson said the NHF would be placing even greater emphasis on health promotion during 2015.

Educational campaign

"While efforts to increase enrolment will continue in 2015, NHF will be expanding its health-promotion activities to educate Jamaicans on healthy lifestyle and develop skills to make healthy choices and thereby reduce the impact of chronic diseases. One example is a special male health programme targeting men in the over-30 age group, who, although having a similar chronic disease profile as women, are not enrolling at the same level or are not taking their medication as prescribed," he said.

Currently, there are approximately 548,000 persons enrolled under the NHF Individual Benefits Programme for the NHF Card and JADEP. The NHF Card provides subsidies for over 1,300 prescription items and covers 15 chronic diseases.

Any Jamaican resident who suffers from any of the 15 conditions may apply for the NHF Card to assist him to purchase his medication. JADEP provides 72 prescription items for persons who are 60 years and over and who have any of the 10 chronic conditions covered by the NHF. JADEP beneficiaries pay $40 for the filling of each prescription item.

Persons needing more information on the NHF programmes may visit our website - nhf.org.jm - or call 1-888-643-2273.