Mr. Speaker, health, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is not only the absence of disease and infirmity, but a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.
It is against this background that I am tabling today four Ministry Papers that reflect the progress of this Administration’s vision and strategic and operational direction for public health, including a focus on wellness.
Mr. Speaker, key dimensions of the wellness approach include not only the physical, mental, and social, but also the emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, vocational, and spiritual.
This focus on wellness is captured in the new name for the Ministry, one I am proud to officially announce today: the Ministry of Health and Wellness – as recently sanctioned by Prime Minister the Most Honourable Andrew Holness.
Later in this presentation, I will elaborate on a Wellness Agenda for Jamaica, reflecting the holistic approach necessary for Jamaicans to live longer, more productive, and better quality lives.
Mr. Speaker, I am tabling the four Ministry papers to provide greater details and clarity on the way forward for public health and wellness. These are:
- The 10-year strategic plan for the Ministry;
- A Green Paper on the Proposal for a National Health Insurance Plan (NHIP);
- A major capital expenditure plan for the next 5 years; and
- The latest Vitals, a publication of the Ministry that this year focuses on child and adolescent health.