The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Cross River State chapter has withdrawn its services in hospitals across the state. The Association also passed a vote of no confidence on the state Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, over alleged unethical handling of COVID-19 crisis.
In a statement by the state Chairman of the association, Dr. Agam Ayuk and Secretary, Dr Ezoke Epoke, the NMA said after an emergency general meeting, decided to take the action
The Association deeply appreciates the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) in declaring University of Calabar Teaching Hospital an Independent Test Centre and the eventual activation of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital Molecular Laboratory and Dr. Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital Calabar for COVID-19 PCR Testing. We sincerely thank them for this. The Association demands explanation from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, why the five COVID-19 confirmed cases from University of Calabar Teaching Hospital 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.
It further stated that, “Congress demands explanations from the NCDC, why epidemiology code numbers have to be generated by Cross River State Ministry of Health before results of samples sent by UCTH to an NCDC approved Molecular Laboratory can be published by the NCDC, despite having approved UCTH as an independent test centre.”
The state NMA alleged that the NCDC had abdicated its responsibility of contact tracing, treatment and care for the five confirmed cases the UCTH which caused the delay in publication of the results by the NCDC.
The Association passed a vote of no confidence on the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, and further referred her to the NMA National Disciplinary Committee and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for the unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state, thus putting lives at risk and bringing the association to disrepute. Arising from the meeting, all members of Nigerian Medical Association Cross River State branch in public and private hospitals have embarked on a total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services until the NCDC and the state Ministry of Health give urgent and prompt attention to the issues raised,” the statement added