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We’re not responsible for increasing fatalities in Cross River —

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Medical doctors in Cross River State have raised concerns over the increasing patient fatalities, doctors’ migration, and other related issues, warning that they won’t perform miracles unless a conducive working environment and conditions are guaranteed.

The doctors have pointed out that distance and limited tertiary health facilities, personnel, and training facilities are contributing to the rise in patient fatalities in the state.

In an exclusive interview with the Nigerian Tribune, the Chairman of the Medical Association of Nigeria (MAN), Cross River State Chapter, Dr Felix Archibong, emphasized that the state government needs to address pending issues of salary structure review and establishment of medical and training facilities to curb the trend.

“We are telling the government that the system is not going to work; nobody will work miracles. In medicine, you attend to people according to their medical needs. The government should look more inward; it’s not rocket science,” he said.

The medical association has suggested certain measures that could turn things around, including the establishment of a State Teaching Hospital in Cross River State due to the state’s large landmass.

According to Dr Archibong, “You can travel up to 8 hours within Cross River State, especially when you are moving from southern to northern or some central parts of the state. It’s very large and it’s affecting patients, who sometimes die on their way to the tertiary hospitals in Calabar.”

Furthermore, the MAN chairman noted that doctors withdraw from state facilities because of salaries, urging the government to make the salaries of state and federal doctors equal.

“Train and retain them. Cross River State government should review the salary structure of doctors because the few doctors left in the state will be overworked, which will cause truancy, which is a major discredit to our medical facilities,” he said.

MAN is of the view that Cross River is one of the states in the country that deserves but doesn’t yet have a state teaching hospital, which is a major backdrop.

“When patients travel that far on a bad road as we have here, some even die en route to tertiary facilities, especially on referrals.

So the government should establish a state teaching hospital somewhere between Ogoja and Ikom, to cater to patients from those axes, due to the stretch of landmass,” the MAN chairman advised.

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