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Cimas launches health and wellness plan

by Agencies
24 May 2016 at 17:11hrs | Views
Cimas Medical Aid Society this (Tuesday) evening launched a health and wellness plan, dubbed iGo, that its members on its Private Hospital and MedExec packages can subscribe to.

The plan encourages activities and diets that promote health and wellbeing by providing discounts for healthy activities and healthy eating.

For a monthly subscription of $45 Cimas MedExec and Private Hospital package members can obtain substantial discounts on membership of a gym in Sam Levy's Village, in Harare's Borrowdale suburb, and various activities there, such as sessions with a personal trainer, consultations with a nutritionist and biokineticist sessions.

They can also obtain free progressive assessments every six weeks, which would normally cost $30, and attend educational talks at the gym, which normally cost $10, free of charge.

Discounts can also be obtained on healthy meals at several restaurants and on massages, manicures, pedicures, facials and detox juices at a chain of health spas. There are even discounts available at certain cinemas.

Welcoming guests to the launch of iGo at Pro Fitness in Borrowdale, Cimas group marketing manager Nyengeterai Mahaka said Cimas was finalising talks with other partners as well.

"One of our key objectives," she said, "is to help our members live long and live well."

She said keeping healthy could be simple. "Eat well, exercise and do not pick up bad habits such as smoking which affects your health," she said, adding that going regularly for recommended health screenings could help detect diseases early so they could be managed promptly.

Cimas chief executive Vulindlela Ndlovu said iGo was "a truly exciting product". It was a first for medical aid societies in Zimbabwe. It sought to promote health rather than treat ill health.

He said the health of its members was the primary concern of Cimas. That was why it funded their healthcare and operated several healthcare facilities itself.

"Most of these efforts are aimed at facilitating the treatment of members who have health conditions that require diagnosis and treatment. Would it not be much better to try to prevent people becoming ill in the first place by promoting a healthy lifestyle? That is what iGo is designed to do," he said.

The health and savings benefits that could be derived from iGo were, Cimas believed, well worth the monthly membership fee.

"The launch of iGo comes only days after we launched our new Classic Private Hospital package for those who want a no frills private hospital package that is cheaper than the standard Private Hospital package.

"I think it should be evident from the launch of these two products that we are doing our best to meet the changing needs of all our members," he said.

He expressed the hope that some of those present who qualified for iGo would take advantage of it and encourage others to do the same.

"We believe it should contribute to a healthier membership. The good health of our members is what we all, I am sure, would like to see," he said.

Cimas Medical Aid Division chairperson Emma Fundira said iGo represented a new direction Cimas was taking in promoting the health and wellness of its members.

"We have long felt that our medical aid packages should not simply pay for members' treatment when they are unwell or are injured in accidents but should promote a healthy lifestyle that minimises the likelihood of their needing treatment," she said.

She said the importance of diet and lifestyle in promoting good health was increasingly being recognised the world over. As eating habits changed in Zimbabwe, particularly in urban areas, and more and more people led a sedentary lifestyle, Zimbabweans faced the same dangers of lack of exercise and unhealthy eating as those in many other countries did.

"Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor when it comes to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer," she said.

She said the logic of a medical aid society launching a health and wellness plan was simple.

"Not only is health promotion one of the goals of a medical aid society such as ours but the healthier our members are the less often they will need to seek medical attention and the fewer claims the Society should be faced with.

"The less draw down there is on the Society's funds as a result of fewer claims, the more affordable it will be able to make its packages," she said.

Source - Agencies