The Cross River State Governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade met with the Executive arm of the Cross River State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to deliberate on the going sit-at-home protest by the association following the threats to the lives of some of its members.
Governor Ayade highlighted all the different measures taken by his administration so far to curb incessant crimes in the State. He also stated that the presence of homeland security, the provision of a patrol boat for the waterway identified as the escape route for kidnappers and the enforcement of serious consequences for local chiefs aiding and abating these criminal elements is a direct and deliberate attempt to securing the lives and properties of residents of the State.
In addition, Governor Ayade instructed the State Security Adviser to give the association all the necessary cooperation needed to help put their minds at rest.
His Excellency also seized the opportunity to call on the medical professionals to align with the vision of his administration to ensure the achievement of Universal Health Coverage before the year 2030, whilst he also approved the immediate employment of more doctors into the State health sector to the overall healthcare delivery system in the State and subsequently the AYADECARE programme.
In their response the association thanked the general public particularly the press for standing with them during the struggle to emancipate the State from hoodlums and mean-minded criminals.
“We swore to save lives but our lives were continually being threatened. We had to had to look over our shoulders. The terror and fear was beginning to affect our work”, they said.
The association proposed possible collaborating opportunities between the State and healthcare resources in the Teaching Hospital and other tertiary health facilities following the dearth of Health workers in the State, implementation challenges on AyadeCare and multiple taxation of private health facilities.
The closed door meeting had in attendance the NMA Cross River State Chapter President, Dr Effiom Nkpanam, Vice President Dr. Ayuk Agan, Secretary Dr. Ukwelike as well as heads of affiliates of NMA including Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) and Medical Elders, saw the suspension of it’s sit-at-home action and members unanimously agreed to return to work immediately.
While the Government side of the meeting had the Commissioners of Health and Information, Dr. Inyang Asibong, and Bar. Rosemary Archibong, the State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, the DG CRSPHCDA Dr. Betta Edu and other stakeholders were in attendance to resolve the issue amicably and also encourage the doctors to continue in the discharge of their duties in the State.