The Nigerian Medical Association in Cross River State has said the state has only 33 doctors in the civil service.

The state chairman of NMA, Dr Agam Ayuk and the Secretary, Dr Ezoke Epoke, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Calabar.

Ayuk also said the press release by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr Christian Ita, on April 11,  directing all civil servants from Grade level 10 and above to resume work was ill-timed and not in the best public health interest of the state.

Ayuk said the interview granted by the state Commissioner for Health, during which she declared that the state government had 105 doctors in the state civil service was grossly misleading.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we have attached the distribution of Cross River doctors across the various state facilities reaffirming our position of 33 doctors in the Cross River civil service.

“The number of doctors in the state civil service is the least in the country. A doctor in Cross River civil service earns 46-54 per cent of what his/her colleague earns across the country.

“Doctors in Cross River are the least paid by any state government in the country. It is therefore difficult to engage or retain this critical workforce.

“We therefore call on the state government to use this period of COVID-19 pandemic to address the human resource capacity and other deficits in the health sector,” he said.

Copyright PUNCH.