By Elijah Ugani: Health Correspondent
The extensive disparity in the access to healthcare in Cross River State is due to the lopsided distribution of health personnel to the detriment of rural areas says the state council chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association Offiong Ikpeme during the council’s annual general meeting/scientific conference held Wednesday in Calabar.
The doctor to patient ratio according to Offiong stands at about 1 doctor to 7,200 people, which going by statistics from the National Population Commission, CrossRiverWatch can authoritatively report that the number of doctors in Cross River State is less than 500.
“The Cross River State health sector still suffers from massive shortfall in our human resources and extensive disparity in in access to care occasioned by lopsidedness in the distribution of health personnel to the detriment of rural areas” Offiong said and encouraged the state government to up its game by setting up a comprehensive community health insurance scheme across the state to complement the financing of health services.
Also, the health Commissioner, Inyang Asibong described the theme of the event, “Climate Change and Health” as “apt due to the importance placed on biodiversity by the Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade” and charged members of the association to use the occasion to proffer solutions to the health challenges arising from climate change.
“The World Health Organisation has reported that between 2030-2050, about 250,000 deaths will occur if preventive measures are not taken to curb the effect of climate change” Asibong said and urging all to act to prevent this prediction coming to pass.
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