Doctors strike takes serious toll on patients at health institutions, facilities in Cross River

The industrial action embarked upon by the members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Cross River State branch, who are mostly medical Doctors has taken a serious toll on patients, health institutions and facilities in the state.

A visit to the hospital by the Daily Post shows that some Health Institutions, including the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), General Hospitals and other Health facilities such as private hospitals, where we observed that Medical Doctors have abandoned their duty posts patients are left to their fates.

Speaking with DAILY POST on Monday via phone, the Chairman of NMA, Dr. Agam E. Ayuk said that the Association embarked on the industrial action with a view to demanding explanation from NCDC why the five (5) COVID-19 confirmed cases from UCTH carried out at the NCDC accredited Molecular Laboratory at Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State have not reflected in the daily situation report of NCDC long after results had been transmitted to UCTH since July 1, 2020. Congress is demanding update of the NCDC situation report as a matter of urgent public health interest.

Ayuk explained that the Association had down tooled from Monday in a protest based on a simple request from the NCDC and the State Government, “What we simply want is that the five cases that were confirmed using PCR test at the NCDC accredited laboratory should be captured by NCDC so that contact tracing, isolation, treatment can commence.”
On referring of the Commissioner to the Medical and Dental Council, Dr Ayuk said that the decision still stands, “that position has not changed and we are still on it. Our position is not malicious, and we are guided by our code of conduct and in the code of conduct, nobody is exempted. People can’t behave the way they like.
“So what we are saying regarding testing in Cross River State is that, there are so much evidences that the State was not sincere with the testing process. 39 samples were collected as at 16th of June and as at June 30 when NCDC sent the test sample to reference lab, only eight were recorded for Cross River, that is the crux of the matter.

“We are very worried that lives of our people have been put at stake. The handlers of our test are joking with our lives, for not sending the samples to appropriate quarters for the test to be carried out, today, you can see the evidence, two Doctors are already infected, and there is transmission in the Hospital. If those tests were carried out, we would have been able to control it.
The offence of the Commissioner is that, since the Commissioner is the Chairman of COVID-19 task force, the State Epidemiologist receive instruction from her so if the Epidemiologist receive instruction from her, samples based on her order has not been sent.

“The 39 samples were collected but 8 were announced, what happened to the remaining 31 not accounted for? This is the question she has to answer, and the appropriate authority to ask her this question is Dental Council of Nigeria. It is the supervisory council for this,” he stated.

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