Give serious attention to healthcare, employers told

March 18, 2015 6:03 am 

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Healthcare is an important issue and enployers should give it serious attention as the productivity of the workers of any organisation depends on it, said US Chamber of Commerce senior vice-president, Asia Department International Affairs Division, Tami Overby.

She said the governments and employers should introduce guidelines to promote health issues at the workplaces in order to contribute towards healthier and productive workforce, both physically and mentally.

"Both parties should look into the issue because neglecting the health factors at the workplaces is not only detrimental to the workers, but would also directly affect productivity, efficiency and output of any enterprise as well as the nation," she told Bernama recently.

Overby said malaysia lost about six per cent in worker productivity in relation to gross domestic product due to diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

"It pays to invest in preventive measures — health screenings, therapeutic medicines, promote healthy lifestyles through education and incentives and facilitate innovation in health delivery systems — to keep the population healthy," she said.

The measures would improve the quality of life and boost performance at work places, Overby said.

"Healthy people are less likely to be absent from work, less likely to underperform in their work, and are less likely to retire from the workforce early," she said.

She said neither the governments nor businesses have the resources to manage the increasing health cost-related chronic diseases.

"What we are proposing is that both parties work together to create complimentary programmes that can reinforce positive health environments.

"For example, the governments can promote education platforms and incentives for populations to take on more active lifestyles, while the employers can reinforce this education by making sure healthy choices are available in the workplaces," she said.

Overby said with higher productivity level, the opportunities to attract more foreign investors would increase.

"In fact, if malaysia were to be part of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, this is another positive factor to look into as we would be aware of the performance of the participating countries," she said. (PNA/Bernama)



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