Alagi Yorro Jallow

Health care services are a public obligation of all governments in the world, except perhaps, in the primate minds of the Darwinian shepherds we have lorded over ourselves. How can someone in their right senses even contemplate neglect or abuse a service enshrined in our constitution as a right?

I told you so, is one of the phrases I hate so much, especially when I’m talking about something so serious like healthcare service in the Gambia. But I kept saying: a public version of private insurance, and refusing to improve public hospitals, is not a sustainable healthcare policy in the long run.

The goal of public healthcare is a healthy citizenry. The goal of private hospitals is profit. That very simple truth should make us know that there’s no good private healthcare without a good public healthcare to remind government that we have choices. Ask the Americans about the contentious Affordable Health Care known as the Obama Care. Or maybe we see the weaknesses and mistakes of Americans worth repeating rather than worth avoiding? Who knows? All the same, it’s still.

I worry a lot every time a fundraiser pops up in the local newspapers on medical bills and urgent need for overseas treatment. It’s almost always conditions that require specialized care/treatment.

I worry that we have lost so much power within ourselves to keep saying NO to the Government and the powers that be (am looking at 52 years of Independence and what our leaders have done to aggravate this health care crisis).

I am worried that even in my family and friends circle, we are a phone call away from poverty when disease like cancer strikes. Or any other complicated condition. I worry that WE don’t see that as a problem. We don’t see when your leader’s family has gotten into deals with international companies to buy out health care services, it is the beginning of this madness of health care in the private sector. I worry that we are so myopic in our support for regimes that does not care about hospitals and clinics without enough medicines, enough nurses, for health care delivery. I worry. I worry quite a bit.