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Mar 12, 2020

S.S.B. Takes a Proactive Approach to Potential Crisis of COVID-19

In 2019, during the dengue epidemic in Belize, thousands of persons were affected and there was a sharp increase in the amount of sickness benefit claims between January and July. Payouts were made of over forty-nine thousand dollars, which is forty-three thousand dollars more than the same period in 2018.  The then C.E.O. of the Social Security Board, confirmed that the staggering figures represent only payouts for dengue.  So with the inevitability of COVID-nineteen, Chairman of the S.S.B. Investment Committee Doug Singh told News Five that the S.S.B. is taking a proactive approach to the potential crisis, by investing over two hundred thousand dollars to purchase mobile respirators. Here’s how he explains it.

 

Doug Singh

Doug Singh, Chairman, S.S.B. Investment Committee

“We’ve been engaging with Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in the industry. In fact, the management team from S.S.B. has the Doctor Manzaneros, plural, along with the NHI Director, etc. just to try to put in place what S.S.B. can do to be proactive, meaning to help in a preventative and proactive kinda measures. This was important for us to do because two years ago when there was a pinkeye epidemic, just the claims from the pinkeye epidemic from S.S.B. funds was in excess of a million dollars. That doesn’t say much for the loss of revenues that employers may have experienced as a result of employees being out. But we realized at S.S.B. that if we don’t put the resources now in the preventative part of it, we will end up spending a lot of money in benefits and that can stretch the fund or strain the fund to a great extent. So S.S.B. approached the ministry and asked what are ways that we can assist in ensuring that the ministry is prepared. And things they asked us for assistance with were respirators and portable respirators and x-ray machines and in the education campaign. So Social Security is contributing over two hundred thousand to assist with I think it is seven or eight or nine portable respirators. As you are aware, some of the most vulnerable people under COVID-19 infection are the elderly and they are the ones that suffer tremendously from breathing problem.”


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