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May Caribbean Economic Forum to Examine the Economic Impact of Non-Communicable Diseases

"Managing the Costs of and Economic Fallout from Non-Communicable Diseases" will be the focus of the Central Bank of Barbados' upcoming Caribbean Economic Forum (CEF), which takes place on Wednesday, May 10 at 8:00 p.m. on the Central Bank's Facebook page, YouTube channel, or on CBC TV8.

"The prevalence of NCDs in the region is a major concern not only for medical professionals but also for policymakers. That's because it's both a health and wellness issue and an economic one," revealed Novaline Brewster, Chief of Corporate Communications at the Central Bank. "An unhealthy population leads to lower productivity, earlier retirements, and creates a strain on healthcare systems, which in many of our countries is subsidised by Government. These illnesses, therefore, while personal in nature, have national consequences. It is for this reason that we've decided to make it the focus of our May CEF.”

"For the discussion, we've brought back Professor Emeritus Karl Theodore, Senior Consultant Advisor to the HEU, Centre for Health Economics, Trinidad, who participated in our forum last year on the ageing population crisis. On this occasion, Professor Simon Anderson, Director, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, Caribbean Institute for Health Research; and Dr. Kenneth Connell, Vice President, Healthy Caribbean Coalition and Deputy Dean, Recruitment & Outreach, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus will  join him."

Noting that the economic implications of a high level of non-communicable diseases were wide-reaching, Brewster encouraged the public to watch the forum. "Be it as workers, as taxpayers, or as users of Government-supported healthcare systems, this is an issue that affects us all, so I encourage everyone to tune in to the discussion."

The Caribbean Economic Forum is part of the Central Bank of Barbados’ public education and outreach efforts. Past discussions have focused on the multiple crises affecting the region, digital payments, and making the regional private sector more globally competitive.