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Opinions Sun, 20 Sep 2009

Ghana, Our Leaders Are 'Criminals

Let me warn readers that, this article is not for faint hearted souls and it's being written with the Author really miffed. What is my beef now? What got my danders up is this report that appeared late on Ghanaweb on 9/16/09 about our Foreign Minister allegedly flown out of the country to seek medical attention in USA after having a stroke. Though I read on Myjoyonline the following day that, our Foreign Minister did not have a stroke but went to a hospital in Houston, Texas after feeling dizzy on a flight from London to attend a conference in New York as a substitute for our President. How a flight from London to New York ended up in Houston, almost 1,800 miles away and four hours of flight time is a mystery to me, but that is not what I am peeved about. My beef is how our leaders by abdication of their duties are killing Ghanaians with inferior medical care.


Any country's development lies with the Government providing good education and good medical care to its citizens, two important services that our governments since 1979 has abandoned. Do our leaders care about training competent health care Providers and modern hospitals to take care of our farmers, Fishermen, Teachers, Policemen, Traders, Junior Civil servants, Our Children and the the hoi Polloi? Our leaders don't give a 'hoot' about us and it's time we stopped this NPP, NDC,CPP, Asanti, Ewe, Ga, Bono, Akyem, Dagomba, Kussasi, Mamprussi, Fanti nonsense and hold our leaders accountable for providing sub standard care to our fathers and mothers who toil on the land and on the sea to provide the Foreign Exchange they use to seek medical care abroad when they get sick and leave the Proletariats to their fate. The idol worship of our leaders needs to come to an end.They are not super humans and without our money they are stealing, some of them might have been failures in life.


Our Leaders don't have to worry about their immediate family's medical care because they have their children schooling in Europe, USA, Australia and other developed countries where they can access medical care. Their children don't have to worry about sitting under trees to get an inferior education or sitting in a dilapidated buildings with leaky roofs to get education. I will take Former Presidents Rawlings and Kuffour to task for failing to provide us with modern hospital facilities and President Mills for doing the same thing his Predecessors failed to do.


Since 1979 when Rawlings burst onto the scene, our health delivery service has not improved but rather has deterriorated because he didn't have to patronize our hospitals for his medical needs neither did his wife. We don't even know if his children were born in Ghana. He sought medical care abroad under an assumed name of Paul Gyamfi while propagating his socialist nonsense while living the capitalist lifestyle, his children schooling in Europe and USA with the best of medicine . His Ministers and buddies also didn't have to enter our death trap hospitals where cash and carry was the order of the day. They flew out of the country anytime they needed help including our current President whose favorite spots of seeking medical attention were China and South Africa.


What about President Kuffour under NPP rule? Did he build any hospitals with modern equipments? He didn't do that much apart from his NHIS Policy but a good insurance without modern hospital and well trained health Providers don't mean anything. We were able to secure loans and grants to build a 90 million boondoggle of a Presidential Palace that is not being used. Do we as a country need a Presidential Palace to serve as a Residence and office to house Presidential staff? Yes we do but not to the tune of 90 million while the country could not even boast of one MRI machine at any of our hospitals. A twenty million Presidential Palace could have left us seventy million to provide modern hospital equipments and expand our medical schools to train more Doctors and other Allied Health care Professionals. How can we order two Presidential Jets when our families couldn't find beds at our hospitals to lay down their sick heads? How can we award ourselves gold chains costing tens of thousands of dollars hanging on our necks when our families couldn't even get antiboitic medicine at our hospitals?

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Is President Mills doing anything different from Rawlings and Kuffour? So far he seems to be following the same trend. He is not different. He access his medical care in China and South Africa for even a nose bleed so how is he going to care about JOE BLOW on the street? Why do I have this feeling MILLS is going to be worst than Presidents Rawlings and Kuffour?


1. It was reported not long ago in this forum where there was a car accident around Akyem Abuakwa where the victims were taken to a hospital around that area and were refused medical attention because they didn't have Health Insurance or money to pay for emergency care.People lives were hanging on the balance and the Hospital staf turned them away, what kind of animals are we? Is this the I care for you government Atta Mills preached about during his campaign?


2.Thirteen People died on the spot and one later at a hospital at Bole in the Northern Region on their way to Babile in the Upper West Region. Why am I citing this accident? The sad part about this is that, twenty eight People who sustained various forms of injuries have to be carted to the hospital by one official car, the only car at the hospital because the hospital has no ambulance and the hospital currently has no mortuary. This hospital has only one medical Doctor to take care of more than 100,000 People. How can any President secure a loan of 50,000 dollars each for 230 Parliamentarians while our hospitals don't have Ambulances? How can we as a nation use 2 million dollars to celebrate the hundred birthday of a dead man while the whole country can boast of only one MRI machine? This is a disgrace to our country. The installation of this MRI recently at 37 Military hospital brought our Defence Minister to the hospital as if a cure for HIV'AIDS has been discovered by a staff of that hospital. An installation of MRI machine in any place around the world would not even bring the head Technician to grace the occassion.


Who are we going to fight that we need four Planes to transport our troops around at a cost of 680 million dollars that when hundred million dollars of this money can be used to fit at least twenty five hospitals with MRI machines? Is transporting our troops around to engage in meaningless exercises important than equiping our hospitals to care of Mr Aboagye the cocoa farmer, Mr Koomson the Fisherman or Efo the carpenter? The stupidity of our leaders beats the bejesus out of me.


How do we sleep as a nation when Upper West Region has only seven Doctors in the whole region, Private and Government Doctors combined? This is a ratio of 1 Doctor per 93,000 People in that region. Upper East is not better either with 13 Doctors in the whole Region and that is 1 Doctor per 87,000. The three Northern Regions according to sources has only 47 Doctors caring for more than two million People. This is a monumental failure by the Government of Ghana and I don't know how those in Authority can go to sllep soundly when the lives of our brothers and sisters are hanging in the balance. As a nation, our Doctor to Patient ratio is 1:13,000 BUT most of these Doctors are concentrated in six cities, ACCRA, TEMA, KUMASI, TAKORADI, SUNYANI and Koforidua.

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Can our leaders let their conscience be their secret Police and start doing the right thing instead of the recidivist, pusillanimous and logorrhea that is the order of this Mills administration? I hope our Political leaders would come to their senses and stop the current Political pandering and bickering going on in Accra and start doing what they promised us. Ghanaians are running out of patience for the poor services our Politicians are providing. Talk is cheap and let our leaders take a cue from RALPH WALDO EMERSON, "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it", IT'S TIME THEY PUT UP OR SHUT UP. sarpongjustice@ymail.com


SARPONG JUSTICE


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Columnist: Sarpong, Justice