Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, says Jamaicans accepting personal responsibility for protecting their own health is a major factor in overall wellness.
Speaking at the opening of the Life Store Wellness Boutique on Constant Spring Road, on December 9, the State Minister said this is a necessary mindset that needs to be adopted, along with a change of lifestyles and habits. Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn pointed out that wellness is the often overlooked part of a person’s life.
“Whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual wellness, we tend to be usually too busy to pay attention to it. This should not be so, as our general well-being should be our top priority,” she said.
The State Minister emphasised that with an ageing population and the increasing burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the country is now experiencing a demographic and epidemiological transition.
“New and emerging diseases, such as chikungunya, Zika virus and the latest addition, COVID-19, have completely changed the world as we know it,” Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn noted.
She said that while Jamaicans have largely accepted the right to health and healthcare, many have not accepted the personal responsibility that could keep them healthier longer.
“This mindset has seen a greater reliance on the health sector to cure or treat illnesses rather than on us taking personal responsibility to create holistic wellness and prevent illness,” the State Minister said.
This, she said, has resulted in a growing need for emergency care, operating theatre time, and hospital beds, which are in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs. Cuthbert-Flynn reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring that Jamaicans have access to quality healthcare.
“We are also dedicated to providing you the advice needed to empower you to make sound decisions around maintaining an active lifestyle, balance in your meals and annual health checks,” she said, adding that these three tenets are the foundation of the Ministry’s wellness agenda, which is to be rolled out in 2021.