Public hospitals, including the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, General Hospitals and others have been deserted in Cross River State as family members move out their sick wards to look for alternative means of treatment.
This was due to the indefinite strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA on the 4th of November, 2020 in Cross River State, after another doctor, Dr Godwin Udo of the UCTH was kidnapped on November 1, 2020 and released on November 7, 2020 in Calabar.
The few remaining patients from UCTH, who don’t have money to go to private hospitals, had complained to PARADISE NEWS over lack of doctors to treat them.
However, the worst came in on Thursday, November 19, 2020, when the Doctors in a communique vowed never to return to work unless the state governor, Sen. Ben Ayade, takes a decision to end kidnappings in the state.
The NMA in the Communique which was jointly signed by the Chairman, Dr. Innocent Abang and the Public Relations Officer, Dr Besong Akotanchi, said that there was no plan to suspend the strike until the state government improve the security architecture of the state.
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In the Communique, the doctors said, “NMA held an Emergency General Meeting to review the ongoing withdrawal of services which was declared 15 days ago, following the incessant kidnapping of Doctors and other inhabitants of Cross River.
“A detailed and comprehensive update was given by the NMA Chairman and the Secretary of the Strike Monitoring Team.
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“After robust deliberations on the issues, the Congress decided to continue with the ongoing withdrawal of services, until concrete and tangible steps to curb insecurity are seen to be made by the government.
“While this decision to continue with the withdrawal of services may appear painful and insensitive to the public, NMA in Cross River want to state that the rising spate of kidnapping of about 10 more victims since the onset of this strike action further justifies the position of NMA in Cross River. ”
The Communique further states that the State Officers Committee will continue with it’s advocacy and mounting pressure on relevant stakeholders until they are guaranteed of security for it’s members and the people of Cross River.
“We hereby appeal to our members to remain steadfast and committed to this congress decision, as nobody is immune to this devilish act until decisive measures are put in place by the state government.
“NMA is calling on other professional bodies and Civil Society Organisations to join hands with us and demand for an improved security from the state government for residents in the state,” it added.
PARADISE NEWS further learnt that the NMA wants to halt the activities of private hospitals and clinic too.