As many as 14 doctors in federal tertiary and state general hospitals have been kidnapped in Cross River State in the past five years.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) confirmed this in a statement on Thursday in Calabar.
The chairman of NMA in the state, Dr Felix Archibong, said: “It is worthy of note that within the past five years, 14 doctors have been kidnapped. This has brought untold hardship on the families and members of NMA CRS by disrupting the practice of medicine in our once very serene state.”
Archibong said the association issued the statement in response to the disappearance of Prof. Ekanem Philip-Ephraim, who was kidnapped at gunpoint at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital while prescribing drugs 29 days ago.
Archibong, who said members of NMA had embarked on a peaceful protest, accused the government of not being helpful on the matter and insisted that “withdrawal of medical services embarked upon by NMA-CRS” will be sustained until her release.
He said: “We are not unmindful of the impact of the withdrawal of medical services on the good people of the state. However, we cannot continue to save lives while ours and those of other law-abiding citizens are under constant threat by armed bandits and kidnappers.”
He called on the state government to urgently address the association over the whereabouts of Prof Philip-Ephraim.
“The state government [should] as a matter of urgency, issue a strong rejoinder debunking the fake news circulating in the media space about the demise of our member,” he said.
The NMA chairman also asked the state government to strongly demand the release of the Professor of Neurology ‘either dead or alive.’
In the event of her not being alive anymore, “the State Government must accord her a befitting burial,” he stated.
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