THE EDITOR: MP Brian Manning has opined that the real reason ministers and other government officials go abroad for medical treatment is to avoid untoward publicity they may face if they choose to be treated locally and not because they don't have faith in the qualify of local health care and the abilities of local doctors. I beg to disagree.
The real reason is because these people don't have to pay a cent since it is the hapless taxpayer (you and I) who must foot the bill. And the "patient" can actually make a profit from "allowances" and claiming "expenses." Observe that, once they are out of government and must pay from their own pockets, how happy these people are to "go local."
The Prime Minister is a good example. Even for a routine check-up, he found it necessary to travel all the way to California (the westernmost US state and, again, at our expense) when the same tests could have been done at the same facility he was rushed to for emergency treatment last Friday.
I suppose if he had the luxury of time, he would have gone to California this time as well. Hopefully, he will learn from the experience and encourage his ministers to seek treatment abroad only when absolutely necessary.