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Holness emphasises importance of philanthropy

Saturday, October 07, 2017

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says the role of philanthropy in the Jamaican economy should not be taken for granted or underestimated.

Addressing St Ann business leaders and medical practitioners at the opening of the expanded operating theatre and the renovated male surgical ward at the St Ann's Bay Hospital yesterday, Holness said philanthropy is so vital in health and in education.

“There is no question that we have a binding resource constraint. There is no question that what we would like to do as a Government for our people we are not able to do it. But, we can find a way if we partner. We can find a way to provide greater care and greater services if we partner. And that is what partnerships do…what philanthropy does…it loosens binding financial constraints,” he said.

Holness pointed out that he is particularly heartened to see the private support hospitals like the St Ann's Bay Regional have been getting, noting that while it rings true that it takes cash to care, “the hospitals don't have all the cash they need but they continue to care.”

“The hospitals, with all the constraints, continue to deliver service with dignity, with empathy and with respect,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister, in response to an appeal from the Chairman of the North East Regional Health Authority, Tyrone Robinson, that the new expansion to the hospital would need an air condition unit at a cost of $5 million, said he would follow the lead of Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, who had earlier committed $2 million from the National Health Fund, and contribute $1 million from his Foundation.

“I will play my part as a citizen of Jamaica in making this contribution. I do have a small Foundation…the Positive Jamaica Foundation…where I try to assist projects that I consider to be positive developments in Jamaica,” he said.

The prime minister said he is cognisant of the constraints faced by medical practitioners and their staff in hospitals across the island, and that the Government will be doing all it can to make their jobs easier.

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