The decision by the vice president to seek medical leave in the United Kingdom (UK), has left so many Ghanaians angry and frustrated over what they argue to be the poor taste for Ghana's health care system.
The government has revealed that the main reason for Bawumia flying out of the country for medical care was due to the peculiarity and urgency of his health hence the need to also have the minister get some time to rest.
YEN.com.gh has reported of how a Ghanaian doctor and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) slammed the vice president for not believing in the capacity and skills of local doctors here in the country.
But the issue of medical tourism (politicians and top officials flying abroad for health care) never started with Bawumia. In fact, the trend started years ago. In this article, we get to explore the top politicians and presidents who have sought healthcare abroad.
1. John Dramani Mahama
The former president, John Mahama, received a huge backlash on social media when a picture of him having a check-up in the US surfaced on social media. Unlike his predecessor who took so much time off while battling an illness suspected to be cancer, John Mahama generally stood out as a fit and strong president but cases of medical tourism can't be ruled out.
2. Professor John Evans Atta Mills
The first term of the former president, John Evans Atta Mills was never a pleasant one as he remained the only sitting president to have died while serving his country. Professor Mills, until his demise at the 37 Military hospital in Accra, had received earlier medical services in the United States of America and even in South Africa, while he was a presidential candidate for the NDC in 2012.
3. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey
The former national chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, broke the hearts of Ghanaians and party members after his demise in 2016. Until his passing, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey was seen seeking much medical attention in South Africa for an unknown ailment suspected to be Leukemia.
4. Kojo Baah Wiredu
Top NPP official and former finance minister, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu died in South Africa after seeking medical care for his declining health.
5. Eva Lokko
Ghana's first satellite communications engineer and first woman engineer at the GBC, Eva Lokko, died a sad death in 2016 while seeking medical treatment abroad. It is reported that she died in the states while seeking medical attention there. She was the only female Director-General of the GBC, since its inception in 1935
6. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo
President of the republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has also taken some medical leave while as the presidential candidate of the NPP as well as president of Ghana. He is believed to have embarked on some medical tourism in London.
Meanwhile, minority members of parliament are making the case for parliament to ban the trend of medical tourism in the country. They make the argument that strengthening the local health systems in the country will go a long way to foster growth and confidence in the sector.