Tuesday , July 16 2024

Sanwo-Olu makes health scheme mandatory for Lagosians

…Says universal health scheme way to go

 

Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State yesterday launched the state health scheme regulations,saying health scheme plan is mandatory for every Lagosian to ensure no one is left behind in the access to quality health services.

Speaking at the launch of the  health scheme regulations, Sanwo-Olu, said the objective of the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) is to reduce out of pocket expenses on health and to eradicate the hardship caused by payment of huge medical bills by the residents. He said the LSHS also aims to ensure that healthcare costs are distributed across the various income groups in the state thereby enabling the government to concentrate on the provision of necessary infrastructure on health such as building new ultra modern hospitals as well as renovating and equipping existing healthcare facilities.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who spoke through the Technical Assistant and Health Economist to the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olamide Okulaja, said that the LSHS Law also created the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) and charged it with the responsibility of ensuring the sustainance and viability of the LSHS. The Agency also has the responsibility to ensure that all residents of the state engaged in the formal and informal sectors or employed in public and private organisations as well as those who are unemployed are registered on the scheme. 

He said: “This will bring the State closer to attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is a very significant milestone this administration would like to achieve as soon as possible.UHC means that all individuals and communities will receive the full spectrum of health services they need without suffering financial hardship and the quality of those services will be such that would address the most significant causes of diseases and deaths thereby improving the health of those that receive them.

“The LSHS is a combination of public and private health plans and everyone is expected to access healthcare services from both private and public healthcare facilities. All employers are expected to register with the Agency to obtain a Corporate Identity Number (CIN) with which they are to buy health plans for their employees from Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) of their choice, who are expected to have been issued an operating licence by the Agency.”

Sanwo-Olu said that Government was aware that a sizeable proportion of residents of the State may not be able to afford the health plans being sold by private HMOs and in order not to exclude them from the benefits of the LSHS, a government owned social health insurance plan with a competitive benefit package and affordable premium, known as ILERA- EKO has been introduced. He added that all civil servants have been registered on the plan with the government contributing to the premium payment in line with the provisions of the LSHS Law.

 

“We are also working to improve the quality of services provided in public facilities by embarking on Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Management and Maintenance of various Primary Healthcare Facilities (PHC) across the state. We are also building new health facilities, remodeling and equipping existing ones, especially the General Hospitals whilst making sure that they have adequate manpower to provide the services expected of them,” the governor said.

On her part, the General Manager of the Lagos State Health Management Agency, LASHMA,Dr Emmanuel Zamba, said the scheme was was meant to ensure everyone irresponsible of their status has access to good health services.

She added that the residents have so much to benefit if they suscribe to the scheme,adding that the scheme would improve the economic and social wellbeing of the residents especially as regards their health.

Zamba, who said that there are more benefits for Lagosians in the scheme, said that people will be more productive when they are healthy. 

About Ayinla Muritala

Agbede is a seasoned Journalist with more than a decade experience as the fourth estate of the realm. He is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Univeristy of Ilorin and currently freelance with few of the Nigerian Dailies.

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