Minister defends granting work permits to Chinese
Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier, has hit back at critics who have described his ministry's issuing of work permits to Chinese nationals as boxing bread out of the mouths of Jamaicans.
"What the cynics need to know, is that the Chinese who choose to work in Jamaica, in the main, come here in relation to the companies and businesses that have chosen Jamaica as an investment destination," Kellier said.
He was speaking at the graduation ceremony for 140 occupational skilled workers from the Health, Education and Counselling Institute, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
"The Chinese who come here to work, furthermore, are not 'boxing bread' from the mouths of Jamaicans because they do not come looking for work in the general economy, in banks and financial institutions, for example," he added.
Suicide Prevention Day seminar tomorrow at Hope Fellowship
Dr Michael Coombs, the country's chief medical officer, is slated to deliver the opening address at tomorrow's World Suicide Prevention Day seminar at the Hope Fellowship Church, 23 Molynes Road, St Andrew.
Several mental-health experts will present at the seminar, among them Dr Anthony Allen, a psychiatrist, Dr Maureen Irons-Morgan, the director of mental health in the Ministry of Health, and Dr Donovan Thomas, a suicidologist and author.
Thomas is the founder of Choose Life International, an organisation which focuses on suicide prevention and grief counselling.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization are co-sponsoring World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. The theme of this 11th anniversary event is 'Stigma: A Major Barrier for Suicide Prevention'.
More persons suffering from hypertension - NHF
MOST PERSONS accessing benefits under the National Health Fund (NHF) are afflicted with hypertension.
Rosemarie Lee, public information manager at the NHF, said that as at the end of August, 239,000 of its beneficiaries had high blood pressure.
She said the NHF recorded 143,000 cases of persons with arthritis accessing benefits, 127,000 with high cholesterol and 121,000 had diabetes.
Ja needs foreign investments - Kellier
Arguing that Jamaica is in need of foreign investments to improve its economy, labour minister Derrick Kellier says Jamaicans should understand that ventures in some instances carry with them pre-determined conditionalities and employment ratios.
"In doing this, we are no different from any other country operating in the global economy," labour minister said.
Kellier was speaking against the backdrop of criticisms that Jamaica has been unwittingly granting work permits to Chinese nationals while locals remain unemployed.
Kellier said that for the fifteen-month period April 2012 to July 2013, the Ministry issued a total of 4,098 work permits, of which 1,741, or 43 per cent, were issued to Chinese nationals.