Media reports indicate that plans to introduce a National Insurance and Retirement Benefits Plan for athletes are proceeding apace in Jamaica.
The plan is expected to provide basic health coverage for all qualified national athletes who represent Jamaica or have attained the specified professional level in their sporting disciplines, reports CMC.
A draft proposal for the plan, announced during debate in the House of Representatives earlier this month, is being reviewed by a number of organisations including the National Council on Sports.
"We intend to help defray the costs of the premiums by reprogramming funds that are currently available on a discretionary basis, to assist in offsetting medical expenses for our elite athletes, and from all areas that benefit from the inputs of sport, such as the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the National Health Fund and the Sport Development Foundation," said minister Neita Headley.
A proposal of the National Athlete Insurance and Retirement Benefits Plan is to be submitted to Cabinet for review and approval.
"We will be going to tender to identify the insurance company that will provide this long overdue protection to our national and professional athletes," said Headley.
"Each sport association or federation would be called upon to identify the athletes, who would meet the defined criteria for coverage under...the plan".