The Lagos State Government is to begin its state Health Insurance Scheme in the third quarter of this year.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris made this known at a one-day training on Health Financing for media practitioners in Lagos.
Dr Idris who says that funding of health is huge explained that the only way to enjoy quality health care is for everyone to key into the State Insurance Scheme.
He noted that the essence of the training was to acquaint journalists with the workings of the scheme so that they could better inform the public in the language they would understand.
He said that the plan was to start with the basic care that over seventy per cent of people has which could be treated at the Primary Health Care level.
“We are trying to introduce a referral system whereby you refer people from the Primary Health Care to Tertiary and Secondary. We are trying to put order into the system, trying to introduce quality and people need to know all these”.
Dr Idris said that despite government efforts, statistics coming in from all over the world was not something the country should be proud of hence a lot still needed to be done.
The General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency, LASHMA, Dr Peju Adenusi, who noted that the state was doing all it could to ensure that it did not repeat the mistakes made at the federal which is the reason why the program was yet to take off said that in Lagos, the scheme would be mandatory.
Dr Adenusi explained that as long as a person is a resident of Lagos, the individual must enrol in the scheme.
” The Lagos State Health Scheme is meant to provide quality healthcare services, equity of health care services regardless of who you are or your social and educational status. It gives you forty thousand naira per family. Broken down, it is seven thousand five hundred naira per person for one year for a benefits package, it will address the common needs supported by some secondary health package reaching out to Maternal and Child Health. About forty PHCs will be empanelled to be a part of it, both public and private will be giving equal treatment.
Dr Adenusi encouraged constructive criticisms on the scheme in order to achieve the desired results.
The Lagos State Co-ordinator, USAID Health Finance and Governance Project, Mrs Harriet Udeme – Edumoh it was the patients’ right to get quality care services said only proper financing would give such a guarantee.
She noted that seventy per cent of patients still practices out of pocket financing thereby limiting quality service and increasing Mortality in the country.
She expressed regret that only a minute proportion was covered by NHIS adding that the right structures need to be put in place if Success must be achieved.
“We have been supporting Lagos State to set up its own Health Insurance Scheme and so the essence is to push out the right information to encourage people to key in, using the right language for better understanding.
Mrs Udeme – Edumoh advocated all inclusiveness in the scheme.