Insurance companies challenged to introduce more affordable critical illness plans

Executive Director of the Jamaica Cancer Society, Yulit Gordon, has challenged insurance companies to introduce more affordable critical illness plans so that more persons can have access and be adequately prepared for critical illnesses.

She said that contributing to the fear factor in dealing with illnesses like cancer is that persons face difficulties in acquiring health insurance and are not equipped financially to deal with the diagnosis.

The Executive Director was speaking at the launch of the book “Through the Valley” by 10-year cancer survivor, Michelle Ashwood-Stewart, held at the Undercroft of the Senate Building at The University of the West Indies, Mona on Thursday.

In the book, Ashwood-Stewart recounts her journey through a diagnosis of breast cancer and outlines some of the questions, the struggles, and the triumphs she experienced along the way.

Gordon observed that one in 21 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer which is the leading cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Jamaican women.

She pointed out that a recent survey conducted by The University of the West Indies, Mona in collaboration with the Jamaica Cancer Society to determine the nation’s screening profile, revealed that the median age of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Jamaica is that of 52 years of age, which is eight years younger than the global average of 60 years.

She indicated that approximately 60 per cent of the breast cancer cases diagnosed in Jamaica are among women between the ages of 25 and 59 years, which tends to mean that it is a more aggressive form of breast cancer.