Judex Okoro, Calabar.
There are strong indications that general hospitals in Cross River State have been hit by exodus of medical doctors.
Daily Sun gathered that the exodus of doctors in the state hospitals was due to poor remuneration and non-implementation of the 100 percent Consolidated Medical Salary Structure by the government.
Besides, it was learnt that poor infrastructures and working environment have contributed to the exodus of health workers.
An inside source revealed that out of 18 general hospitals across 18 local government areas, some hospitals don’t have medical doctors as most of them are manned by matrons, nurses and other auxiliary health workers.
One of the doctors at the general hospital on Mary Slessor Road, Calabar, who simply gave his name as Jonathan Archibong, said they are about 10 medical doctors at the hospital when two are always on duty sometimes.
Archibong said the two medical doctors would attend to several hundreds of patients as most of his colleagues have left for greener pastures to teaching hospitals while some have left to neighbouring states.
He said: “I can tell you that doctors and other health workers have been leaving the general hospitals in droves. I am not even sure that by the time you come here in the next few days you would still meet me here because I am one leg in, one leg out.
“I feel sad that I work in a state government general hospital with very poor conditions of service. No salary paid, no materials to work, no prescription sheets, no folders, no test sheets, no light and water.”
Lamenting on their plight, he said most of his colleagues have left for other states to work because the work load is much but without commensurate pay.
Confirming the exodus, the Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Agam Ayuk, said the exodus was due to poor remuneration and failure of state government to implement 100 percent of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure.
Ayuk said the association has advised the government to recruit more doctors into the health system and implement the salary structure with a view to encourage doctors to serve.
He said: “It is difficult for the state to sustain more doctors because of remuneration. Some doctors under the state employ usually leave for greener pastures when any opportunity comes because the working condition is not favourable,” he said.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Joseph Bassey, said he could not comment on the issue and the chief medical director was not also around.