Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Guardian Life makes commitment to prostate cancer awareness in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2023 | 12:07 AM

MAKING A commitment to promote public awareness of the high incidence of prostate cancer among Jamaican men, Guardian Life Limited has donated $1.5 million to the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) to aid in screenings for the disease.

Renewing its four-year relationship with the JCS through the Guardian Group Foundation, the company announced that it is setting up a ‘Blue Room – Safe Space’ in partnership with urologists for prostate consultations with its male clients and staff. “That is our commitment to promoting a healthy society and our continued support for early detection and education about prostate cancer,” said Oneil Clarke, Guardian Life’s vice-president for life, health, and pension sales.

Clarke also said that in September, Guardian Life’s branches have been adorned with the blue and white Prostate Cancer Awareness ribbons. Guardian has also encouraged staff and clients to wear the colours to show support for the fight against prostate cancer on Friday, September 29. At the presentation of the donation to JCS, Clarke acknowledged Guardian staffer Noel Codling, who is a prostate cancer survivor because of early detection.

In accepting the foundation’s gift, Michael Leslie, JCS’s acting managing director, thanked Guardian Life for its four years of support. But he lamented that public awareness of prostate cancer is still low here because Jamaican men find the examination invasive. “We need to lift that awareness, and we are happy that Guardian is helping,” Leslie said.

As part of its observance of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Guardian Life is using its mobile health unit to offer free medical checks, including high blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and eye screening. The JCS has also scheduled prostate cancer awareness activities that include screenings, health talks, and a prostate cancer medical symposium.

Internally, Guardian Life has begun the execution of a month-long campaign, which includes adorning their branches in blue and white décor, with prostate cancer awareness ribbons to bring further awareness. This will culminate with ‘Wear Blue Day’ on Friday, September 29, where staff and clients are encouraged to wear blue on that day in solidarity with the fight against prostate cancer.

Importance of having critical illness plans:

We want to highlight the importance of having critical illness coverage as prostate cancer, like most diseases, can be very costly. Securing adequate coverage to assist in the required treatment after a positive prostate diagnosis is crucial. This will, no doubt, help to reduce the financial and emotional strain.

When someone is diagnosed with a critical illness, the first concern is usually about getting better and the cost involved. You might have to take time off from work, thus losing income, and getting special medical treatments can be very costly, not to mention where you have to travel overseas for care. In no time, it can bleed you financially.

Now, there are some persons who will tell you that their standard health insurance will provide them protection. However, the fact is that the costs associated with these life-threatening illnesses usually far exceed what the standard medical plan covers


• Pays a lump sum in the first instance where the policyholder is diagnosed with any of the covered illnesses.

• Certain stages or types of the illnesses may be excluded as they are not considered critical. For example, certain types of TIA’s (Transcient Ischemic Attacks)

• In most cases there is a waiting period before the benefit becomes payable. This may vary, depending on the type of plan, from (say) 90 days to 180 days. In some instances, the policyholder has to survive for a specific period (say 30 days) for a claim to be made.

• Usually there is a window, after diagnosis, within which the claim must be submitted.

• Finally, coverage usually ceases after a claim is settled, and in most cases, where no claim is made up to policy expiry date, all premiums paid are refunded.

Guardian Life Limited currently offers critical illness coverage, from as early as age six months, as a rider on our Guardian Achiever policy, which caters to children ages six months to 15 years, nearest birthday.

SOURCE: Guardian Life Limited