Rapping the trend of politicians travelling abroad for treatment of ailments that can easily be remedied locally, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) secretary general Mirza Ali Azhar said on Saturday that the PMA would pen a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action in this regard.
Azhar made the remarks while speaking at a PMA meeting. He said it was common knowledge that politicians tended to travel abroad (for treatment) on taxpayers’ money. Very recently, he said, the prime minister had left for the United Kingdom (UK) to have a medical check-up. Before that, Azhar said, an erstwhile president had also gone abroad for treatment a few weeks ago. Another former president, he said, had been living abroad ostensibly to have an unknown ailment treated.
“Either they are in power or are yesteryear rulers. Whether civilians or military men, they all choose to get treated abroad,” the PMA secretary general said. He said it was evident that all of them had failed to put together a healthcare system in place during their stints in power that they could trust. Or, Azhar said, the healthcare system they presided over was so feeble and inefficient that they did not want to get treated here.
The PMA secretary general said left behind at the mercy of circumstances, mafias, quacks, godsmen and homeopaths were the 190 million underprivileged citizens of the nation. Azhar said those present on the occasion had unanimously decided to exhort the chief justice to take suo motu notice of this and bring the practice to a halt. “Until they have a taste of their own medicine, these bigwigs will remain incognizant of the agony of the underprivileged,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2016.
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