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JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture has endorsed the launch of Solid Blue, a new Farmer’s Health Plan from Blue Cross of Jamaica.
“The fact that the majority of our farmers are either uninsured or underinsured, indicating limited coverage and limited access to preventive services, only serves to underscore the timeliness of this health plan,” Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke has said. He was speaking at a press briefing to announce the health plan, at Eden Gardens in Kingston on November 8.
The Minister pointed out that at a time of high health care costs, health insurance was critical.
Through Solid Blue, farmers can access such services as: intensive care, surgeon, specialist, physiotherapy, dental and optical, radiotherapy, renal dialysis and overseas non-emergency, such as air transport and ambulance. Additional coverage includes Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment.
Noting that health, safety and agricultural issues were closely connected, Mr. Clarke pointed out that success in creating a healthier, safer agricultural community was dependent on the actions of different agencies, researchers, educators, health professionals and policy makers.
The Minister also suggested to Solid Life and General Insurance Brokers, the parent company of Blue Cross, that it was within its competence and ability to provide insurance coverage for crops, as farmers were currently without that service.
Also endorsing the health plan for the farmers was Opposition Senator, Anthony Johnson, who told JIS News that farming was one of the world’s largest businesses and it was a powerful section of the Jamaican community.
“Farmers are central to national food security and by extension national development. This health plan demonstrates that agriculture is a viable business and an important contributor to national development,” said Edna Fulton, Director of Human Resources and Administration at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Farmers account for almost 200,000 of the population and are still the largest group of the labour force in Jamaica.