Yesterday, doctors in Abia State under the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abia State Chapter, declared the indefinite withdrawal of their services from private and public health facilities .
They said the withdrawal from service was to register their displeasure at the kidnapping of their senior colleague, Professor Uwadinachi Iweha, from his Umuajameze community, the local council in Umuahia South State, a few kilometers from Umuahia , the state capital, nine days ago.
Iweha, who teaches at the Umuahia Campus of Gregory University Medical School in Uturu, is the fifth doctor to be abducted in the state in the past three years.
Speaking to doctors at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Umuahia, after staging a peaceful protest, carrying signs and praying for Iweha’s release, NMA Chairman Dr. Chimezie Okwuonu said the removal of the services by physicians would give them time. join Iweha’s family to search for him.
He said, “We will take the time to pray for Iweha and hold a peaceful rally to show that we stand alone in this trying time.
He said, however, that emergency services would still be returned to members of the public. He added: “We strongly hope that the government will allow the release of our colleague and restore the peace and security that we have enjoyed. We ask members of the public with useful information about the whereabouts of the kidnapped doctor to report to the nearest police station.
Decrying the kidnapping incident, FMC Medical Director Prof. Azubuike Onyebuchi expressed concern that the withdrawal of doctors’ services would impact members of the public seeking Medicare, especially the poor, who cannot afford the fees charged by private hospitals, and who depend on the FMC, which is the only functioning public medical institution in the area.
Onyebuchi instructed medics to find ways to lessen the impact this could have on the poor as they continue to do all they can, including working with his family and security agencies to secure his release. ‘Iweha.