Thursday, 13 May 2010

I write what I like…

Our Leaders and Morningside clinic in South Africa
By Daimone Siulapwa

You will be forgiven for thinking Morningside Clinic is in Zambia. While the masses of our people are dying from serious diseases like Aids, cancer and many more, our leaders continue to waste our national resources by going to South Africa to be treated for a mosquito bite.

Since the inception of the multi party system in Zambia in, we have seen the influx of people from rural areas into urban areas in search of greener pastures. The number of people now leaving in Lusaka has increased ten fold from 1991. This, on it’s on, should have been a good reason for whoever is or was in power to pioneer the construction of many and NOT one hospital. Here we are not talking about unregulated little private hospitals run from two bed-roomed houses in every suburb charging our people exorbitant fees enough to buy Japanese cars if you visited them for a week.

Since we started taking our leaders to Morningside clinic from 1991 to date, the money spent should have built our own Morningside clinic. My poor calculations tell me Billions of kwacha have been spent.

Consider the following1.A return ticket business class to South Africa will be around US$ 12002.In most case these people go with wives, bodyguards, personal assistant, their own Zambian Doctor and maybe with one or two of their children, total five (5) people which equals US$ 6000.3.A bed at Sandton clinic before consultation is approximately R3000, which is around US$ 400 at today’s rate. Say that person stays on average 10 days, we looking at US$ 4000.4.Doctor’s consultation can be anything between US$ 500 to 5000 depending on your problem, scans, tests and other analysis will get you down by another US 3000. In total you will be spending around US$ 7000 here.5.Surgery/ heart bypass you will be looking at another US 8000.6.Accommodation at Road Lodge, the hotel opposite Sandton clinic will charge you R800 per night without food, which is US$ 120 by 5 people in the crew = US$ 600 x 10 days = US$ 6000.7.Normally food allowances are around 200 and 300 US$. Lets pick an average of 250 by 5, which equals US$ 1000 per day for five people and US 10,000 for 10 days.8.Car hire for 10 days with driver who knows the area well would be around US$ 2000.9.I will put incidentals at around US 5000, just in case.10.This gives us a total of US 51,000.00 per sick leader.This does not cover for extended sickness or in an event of death.

Now do the mathematics yourself. How many leaders have we sent to Sandton clinic in the last 16 years? Lets say as a country we have sponsored 200 trips of leaders to Morningside clinic in South Africa - This is 200 x US 51,000 per trip, which equals US 10,000,000.00 ( Ten million dollars). In Zambia, we could build a modest hospital for 1 million dollars (including commissions and nchekelakos)

Did you know that Morningside clinic is just finalising the final touches to their expansion programme. It now looks like a five star hotel….. Part of our money I guess.

See link for expansion costing……

NOW… I ask the following questions and I demand answers now and not tomorrow,

1.Does this tell us the caliber of Zambian doctors at UTH or anywhere else is so low that our Political leaders have no faith in entrusting their lives in the hands of these doctors? 2.Do they suffer from diseases that they think they should hide?3.Or is it a question of wanting to die in luxury?4.Is being sick and in Morningside clinic part of working, meaning you can clock in some of those needed dollar allowances.

With the World Cup starting next month, I hope we don’t see more of these happenings - we could be sponsoring anything, you just never know.

There are many questions people have and we deserve answers.

Apa epo mpelele…

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