Lagos seeks private partnership in health insurance scheme
Lagos State Government has sought partnership with private sector operators in implementing the recently unveiled mandatory health insurance scheme in the state.
According to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, the scheme can achieve a high success rate with the partnership of operators in the private sector.
Describing present infrastructure in the public healthcare system as insufficient to meet the needs of enrolees, Idris said some equipment in private hospitals were being under-utilised, and will find good use for the public when deployed for the scheme.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in Lagos, Idris explained that the policy of government is to ensure that each ward has a primary health facility but efforts are underway to partner with the private sector that have existing facilities in such wards.
He also disclosed that a huge chunk of the scheme is directed at the poor, to enable them have access to healthcare without paying from their pockets.
The General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency, LASHMA, Dr Peju Adenusi, said the Scheme, officially launched by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on December 18, 2018, was specifically established to meet the gaps identified from existing health insurance schemes in Nigeria.
Noting that the nation’s healthcare delivery system was not at the level that it should be, Adenusi said the main pillars of accessibility, equity, quality, and financial protection were however taken into consideration when the Lagos State Health Scheme was being put together.
“I believe that the Lagos State Government has thought this through, and has taken this as part of the health sector reform strategies.
“One of the things that will be happening within the Scheme is the quality improvement programme that is engaging the providers on a continuous basis to make sure that what is being provided is what is promised to the people,” Adenusi avowed.
She noted that the only thing the HMOs will not do for LASHMA is to pay providers, saying: “Providers will be paid by LASHMA directly and that is because of the lesson learnt. We have heard of enrolees not being treated because providers are complaining that they were not being paid.
“So LASHMA can be held responsible for that and I think that is the first step to show you that LASHMA has been established. A health scheme has been established to meet the gaps identified from other Schemes. So the residents of Lagos State should trust the Lagos State Health Scheme completely,” the General Manager explained. However, Dr Tunji Akintade urged the State Government to review the capitation in such a way that the scheme can be sustainably implemented.
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