And, hey, opposition DPP Lilongwe City Centre legislator Shadreck Jonas, perhaps high on something not exactly legal, may say some real crazy stuff like suggesting turning some secondary schools into prisons for ‘cashgate’ villains.
But, hey, what he said about withdrawing the international medical referral privilege from ‘top dogs’ deserves more than fleeting attention.
Jonas said something like: “As long as we keep sending our ‘top dogs’ abroad for medical treatment, they will never bother or care about hospital conditions at home. Let’s stop this sending of people abroad for medical treatment.”
As an MP, Jonas is a potential beneficiary of such a privilege if he is afflicted by some life-threatening ailment, so no one should really accuse him of making his statement out of sheer jealousy or envy.
Look, a lot of Malawians are dying in droves everyday because our health centres and district hospitals do not have simple drugs like aspirin or paracetamol.
Just imagine, if a referral hospital like the KamuzuCentralHospital cannot have simple stuff like swabs to handle surgeries, how do you expect a rural hospital like Bwanje Health Centre in Ntcheu to have anti-biotics?
Is it fair for a poor farmer from PendanyamaVillage to die because Bwanje Health Centre does not have insulin to control his diabetes and yet it is his very vote that enables some politician to be treated for a simple headache episode at Milpark or Garden City in Johannesburg?
Do we not say we are equal before the law?
Imagine if Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo were some labourer from Mgona. Would he have survived taking in three bullets at KCH where, according to Head Surgeon Carlos Valera, “we do not even have materials to close the wound”?
I am sure if Bingu had survived his cardiovascular incident during those three mad days in April he could have shifted his focus from funding the needlessly expensive – but politically correct – farm-input subsidy programme, to stocking our hospitals with bare necessities.
If ministers were taken to KCH or Queen Elizabeth or Mzuzu central hospitals, and not Milpark or Garden City, when they got sick, I am sure some nutty deputy minister could not have cartooned himself to suggest that the well-meaning medics from KCH marched on Parliament just because they belonged to some blue party.