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Sanwo-Olu okays free healthcare for orphans, others

By Gbenga Salau
11 December 2020   |   2:55 am
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved the release of N350 million for Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) equity fund to provide free healthcare for 50,000 orphans, elderly and vulnerable

Releases N350m to support health insurance scheme

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved the release of N350 million for Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) equity fund to provide free healthcare for 50,000 orphans, elderly and vulnerable in the state.

Wife of the governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed this, yesterday, at the celebration of the Year 2020 Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) Day organised by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), said that the development became necessary in view of the fact that the government recognises that not everyone can afford the premium of the LSHS.

Dr. Sanwo-Olu, represented by a former Permanent Secretary in the state, Dr. Bola Balogun, said: “It is gratifying to note that the governor appreciates the fact that not everyone can afford the premium, and has approved the release of funds from the equity to provide free healthcare within the Lagos State Health Scheme for 50,000 orphans, elderly and vulnerable.”

The governor’s wife said that the theme of the celebration – “Health For All: Protect Everyone,” was apt and timely, coming at a time the world was still grappling with sordid realities of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the need to ensure that deliberate policies were put in place to safeguard the health of all.

She said it was also gratifying to note that with the global movement against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the state government was also coming up with the provision of a sexual violence intervention fund to provide immediate intervention for survivors of sexual violence.

Also speaking, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, confirmed the release of the equity fund.

He said virtual clinics would also be established as standalone units, while telemedicine units would also be set up within the Lagos Health Scheme empanelled Primary Healthcare Centres in collaboration with interesting startups and NGOs.

“We would also register and enrol a target 1,000,000 households – which translates to approximately 3,000,000 residents in Lagos within an 18-month timeline in the LSHS.

“We also plan to deliver 500 Ilera Eko centres through strategic private providers by December 2021 and another 500 centres by December 2022,” he said.

Earlier, LASHMA Chairman, Dr. Ade Alakija, said COVID-19 had underscored the need for universal health coverage, saying the pandemic had clearly shown that a threat to one would eventually prove to be a threat to all, and that “it would be gravely unwise to continue to think of quality healthcare as a tradable commodity.”