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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Columnist: Ayisi, Gabriel

Our Politicians And Treatment Abroad

The death of Ghana’s former health minister Major (rtd) Courage Emmanuel Kobla Quashigah is a great loss to the country. However, while morning his loss, it is time for us to ask the tough questions. Why does the politician think he is more important than the ordinary citizen? Perhaps, if well equipped first class hospitals were available in Ghana today, Major Quashigah would have received quality timely treatment for his ailment and probably would be alive today. Our politicians keep neglecting the development of the health sector because they have the means (using our national resources) to avail themselves of excellent and cutting-edge health care services outside the borders of the country and oftentimes outside the borders of Africa. What they need to know is that in critical health situations, timely treatment is of the essence. Ghana’s hospitals have become death traps where most ordinary Ghanaians, falsely believing that they are going to get treatment for their ailments, actually go to die, having their life spans prematurely fast-forwarded to their demise. These are places our politicians and their relatives won’t go for treatment, but expect the ordinary Ghanaian to go there. When they our politicians sick, they quietly sneak out of the country for treatment, and you hear of this only when they die.

In Nigeria, their head of state has been missing in action for over a month and is being treated in Saudi Arabia for his ailments. Nigeria, with all its oil wealth has not been able to build at least, one well equipped and first class hospital befitting its citizens and the head of State. The same applies to Ghana by the way.

They do the same this with our school system. They mess it up and turn around to educate their children in the best schools abroad with taxpayers’ money. Instead on agreeing on the duration of our junior secondary schools and senior secondary schools, they have resorting to playing politics with it – a tussle between NDC’s 3-year SSS and NPP’s 4-year SSS. They need to stop this nonsense and rebuild and adequately resource our school to ensure positive educational outcomes for Ghana’s youth.

Our roads have also been turned into death traps. Instead of building dual carriage highways with concrete medians or separated by islands as found on Tema Motorway, they are keeping to the same archaic roadway systems we inherited from our colonial masters and do not understand why we experience so many unnecessary head-on collisions in Ghana.

The list of neglect amid massive corruption goes on and it is about time we saw a new breed of youthful politicians who have the country’s development at heart in charge of our political parties.

Dr. Gabriel Ayisi New York City