The Lagos State Government has said it will enforce compulsory health insurance scheme for all residents living in the State.
The governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this yesterday when he flagged off the regulation making it mandatory for all residents.
Sanwo-Olu who was represented by an Health Economist and Technical Assistant to the Commissioner for Health Dr. Olumide Okulaja said the need to ensure the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) makes it mandatory for the government to begin the full implementation of the Lagos State Health Scheme, passed by the State’s House of Assembly since May 2015.
He noted that the law is mandatory for all residents in the state to have the health scheme which makes healthcare financing affordable and available to all irrespective of class or status.
He said the state government has enlisted all civil servants in the scheme, and urged the private sector to key into the scheme, adding that there is need to push for the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage necessitated the implementation of the provisions of the LSHS Law.
“Prior to the inception of this administration, the Lagos State House of Assembly had enacted the Lagos State Health Scheme Law No. 4 of 2015 which made it mandatory for all residents of Lagos state to possess a health plan in order to have access to quality healthcare services. 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. 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.”
Also, the Commissioner of Health Prof. Akin Abayomi said the government came up with the health scheme knowing 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 was introduced.
He also assured that the government is 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 even as there are plans to build new health facilities, remodel and equip existing ones, especially the General Hospitals whilst making sure that they have adequate manpower to provide the services expected of them.
The Chairman Board of the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) Dr Adetokunbo Alakija said LASHMA is out to ensure that all residents of Lagos are covered under the health scheme which makes health financing affordable and available to all on request, without recourse to their social status or destabilizing them or plunging them into poverty.
Under the Health Scheme, everyone irrespective of their social status have equitable right and access to quality healthcare to cushion their out of pocket expenses, by mere payment of a premium once a year.