SANWO-OLU ENJOINS LAGOS RESIDENTS TO EMBRACE HEALTH INSURANCE
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has enjoined all Lagos residents to embrace the State’s health insurance scheme in a bid to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The Governor, who made the call at the official media launch of the Regulation of the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) organised by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) at the Providence Hotel, Ikeja, said that healthy residents would improve productivity and the economic status of the State.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Technical Assistant and Health Economist to the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olamide Okulaja, explained that the health scheme is mandatory for all residents in order to have access to quality healthcare services.
Explaining that all employers are expected to register with LASHMA to obtain a Corporate Identity Number (CIN) in order to buy health plans for their employees from the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) of their choice, the Governor solicited more support towards enrollment of vulnerable groups.
He said that the present administration is working hard to improve the quality of services provided in public facilities by embarking on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for the management and maintenance of various Primary Healthcare facilities (PHC) across the State.
Governor Sanwo-Olu appealed to all critical stakeholders of the UHC project, which include the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs), Healthcare Providers, Corporate organisations including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and residents of Lagos State to support, partner and co-operate with LASHMA as it takes a giant leap towards achieving its mandate.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who was also represented at the event, advised residents to have health plans and possess evidence of being registered under the State Health Scheme, explaining that all employers are also expected to register with LASHMA for a Corporate Identification Number (CIN), which enables them to procure health plans for their employees from HMOs of their choice.
Speaking earlier at the event, the Board Chairman, LASHMA, Dr. Adetokunbo Alakija, said that the event became necessary after observing that the populace and other stakeholders require information on the health scheme and the agency’s regulatory functions.
Alakija further stated that in order to effectively educate and enlighten people to voluntarily comply with the regulations, the Agency has put in place necessary guidelines and procedures for seamless registration for companies, as well as licensing of participating HMOs, while also ensuring the viability and sustainability of the scheme for the benefit of all Lagos residents.
In his contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Olusina Thorpe, charged the media to cascade the information about the health insurance, its regulations and benefits to the populace and other relevant stakeholders.
He pledged the Information Ministry’s readiness to support LASHMA so that the UHC policy of the State Government is realised, adding that the Community Development Associations (CDAs), transport unions, market men and women, among others, will be sensitised on the health insurance plan.
Thorpe urged the media not to hesitate in providing the necessary feedback to the government as this would assist the Agency in achieving its set mandate.
Similarly, the General Manager, LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, assured that the Agency will continue to collaborate with various stakeholders, especially Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in facilitating and ensuring that all residents key into the scheme.
Dr. Zamba, who maintained that health for all is achievable in Lagos State, stressed that the Agency will continue to enlighten the populace about the health insurance system, which is functional, affordable, working, simple and accessible for enrolment.
She further revealed that measures have been put in place to enhance the current ILERA-EKO standard plan by adding more benefits to the plan.