The time has come for America, Canada and European nations, especially Britain to introduce legislation that will ban Nigerian politicians from leaving Nigeria's hospitals and clinics for treatment abroad. If the aforementioned countries encouraging corruption in Nigeria and other African nations as we have severally complained, have conscience and a sense of fairness they will redeem what they owe ordinary Nigerians. And, this is a Godly duty to ban these politicians from coming for treatment and living the common people to die for the lack of it.
I know health is not something to play with especially when sickness strikes and life is threatened. No one deserves to die; not the poor or rich of any sickness that is curable. There is, however, a double standard when politicians who enrich themselves with the people's money or public fund continue to fly abroad for treatment and get well while the common people can not even afford the shame that is described as health service at home.
There will be no problem if these rulers were using their own money and not those stolen from the people's coffers. Anyone who can afford the best luxury the new world and technology can offer (including health care and education) has a choice or free will to enjoy the fruit of his/her labor. My angst is where the money used to pay for oversea trips by politicians is not their salary rather monies gotten by crook, cons and outright theft-institutionalized theft of public fund.
Foreign trips for medical treatment are some of the grave bane responsible for the underdevelopment or complete lack of the development of effective health system with sophisticated facilities, equipments and strategic maintenance mechanism that will keep the system sharp, workable and great to save the lives of all.
Medical robbery in African nations especially Nigeria is not the only problem as cited above as one of the bane. There is the education robbery also. Most of these politicians and some business people (who are mostly) linked with these corrupt rulers send their children to North American and European schools. They are also presently sending their wards to Ghana, South Africa and India-China too. This attitude helps crumble the education system, like health care at home. The victims, of course, are peasants whose dreams to educate their children are forever stymied.
Those who keep faith and patronize local schools end up with half-baked education for the most part, as strikes predominates virtually all academic year due to non payment of teacher's salaries or non implementation of agreed terms. Consequently, the society stays bleak without qualitative education and health-care systems which both aids better life, healthy living, life's longevity.
In the European, North American and other places Nigerian politicians/business people take health and education solace, there is constant electricity powering these facilities and assisting in the creation of conducive environment for treatment and learning. Sadly, for more than 50 years of Nigeria's independence, the rulers can not, or to be fair, have refused to provide stable electricity for all.
Another irony is that, in American and European hospitals patience also die, though the chances of survival exist if symptoms or the actual sicknesses are diagnosed and treated early. Of course, many Nigerians flown abroad for treatment have also died. It is not like there is a 100 percent guarantee of life when flown there. The time spent in the air, added to preparation for visa and other documents could have saved lives at home if the hospitals were up to date.
By the time they get abroad, if an emergency situation, the chances for survival is less than 60 percent compared to citizens of these countries they fly to. Also, hospital management in these countries play games too. Studies have shown that blacks are most likely to die of certain or most sicknesses than whites due to service disparity. It is not as if these hospitals have all the answers but the self-inflicted inferiority of most black Africans.
Finally, these foreign hospitals are like the schools, where students who do not study hard also fail. In short, some of the children of these politicians have returned home without a degree. Like medical treatment, it is okay since the money is stolen from the people's coffers and will not be accounted for. These countries continue to make money upon the historical exploitation and no one cares. Well, it is business and you do not drive away customers if you must succeed.
I nevertheless believe that bad customers could be driven away. These countries should drive the politicians away (for they are bad customers) as we have also been glamoring for a ban on money stashing or laundering into foreign banks. Since these politicians are stealing from the powerless and mostly ignorant and intimidated population it should be seen as doing business with thieves. In such situation the person doing business with a thief or buying stolen property is considered a partner in crime in American law. They most times get equal jail term if indicted and convicted.
On this note, and because America, Canada, Europe and others have been denying their complicity in African corruption, especially Nigeria's, the lawmakers could proof themselves innocent by placing complete ban on these politicians flying in for medical check up, treatment and education while depriving the common people at home the same things they crave.
Although politicians may divert to somewhere else, Dubai for instance, a ban will help compel the development of these systems at home for the benefit of all-and Dubai can also place the ban. This ban, though lacks political will in Nigeria because those benefiting from the trips are the lawmakers, once implemented abroad may help Nigerians enact such ban as well as lawmakers would see that there is no place to run anymore.
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Reproduction is authorised provided the author's permission is granted.