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Usamate Links Health To Productivity

Usamate Links Health To Productivity
Health Minister, Jone Usamate, speaking during the TOPEX Conference at The Warwick Fiji yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO News
October 03
10:45 2015

Halth is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

This was highlighted by the Health Minister Jone Usamate during the Top Executives (TOPEX) Conference yesterday at The Warwick Fiji.

Mr Usamate was speaking on the theme: Linking Health to Productivity and he focused on three aspects – health and productivity linkages, health trends areas to address.

“Productivity is a key source of economic growth and competitiveness. Normally, when you talk about linking health and productivity, one would say it is a matter of common sense.

“There is a definite relationship between health factors and the total factor productivity at a national level,” Mr Usamate said.

He said that ill-health also affects “presenteeism”, whereby employees although present at work, their level of productivity is affected.

Harvard Business Reviews has stated that the lost productivity due to presenteeism is 7.5 times higher than that on costs of absenteeism.

He said this fact has often been lost on employers but has huge impact on productivity.

“In Fiji, non-communicable diseases could be a bigger problem in coming days,” Mr Usamate said.

“There is expected to be a change in the make-up of our population in the coming years. It will rise but by 2030, it is expected to plateau.”

“People are most productive around 40 and this is the age around which, in Fiji, diseases start catching up on them.

“At the Ministry of Health, we are now trying to combat this at earlier age so that healthy living becomes a way of life.”

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