Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Dalley hails Shaggy & Friends

Published:Monday | January 4, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller makes a surprise appearance on the stage during the performance of Ity and Fancy Cat at Shaggy & Friends in Concert at Jamaica House on Saturday night.

Health Minister Horace Dalley has hailed the contribution being made to improving the state of the public health sector.

"We are never able to pay salaries of all public health workers and at the same time purchase and replace all the needed equipment and supplies at the same time," Dalley told The Gleaner yesterday while underscoring the importance of philanthropic contributions.

Shaggy, an internationally acclaimed artiste, led a band of entertainers that took over the lawns of Jamaica House, Kingston on Saturday night for the 2016 instalment of the Shaggy & Friends benefit concert.

The concert, which is organised by the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation, was the fifth such staging, and proceeds from the last two concerts were directed towards completing the first diagnostic Catheterisation Laboratory at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

"Shaggy & Friends concerts have raised tens of millions of dollars for the Bustamante children's hospital over the years. I want to personally thank Shaggy and Rebecca [Packer] for their commitment to this worthy cause," Dalley said.

Packer is the executive director of the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation, which has done a full audit of hospital equipment and paid for the repair of all equipment, whether donated by the foundation or not; raised just under US$1,600,000; and purchased more than 450 pieces of essential, life-saving equipment for the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

The hospital is the only full-service paediatric hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Dalley said yesterday that in every public-health facility in Jamaica, the support from the diaspora and corporate Jamaica, and ordinary individuals and churches, has made a tremendous difference to the quality of service hospitals deliver.

"The support has greatly augmented what the budget can provide in terms of new equipment," Dalley said.

"As minister, I welcome all the support from the private sector and the ordinary Jamaican people," he added.