By Dipo Olowookere
Lagos State government is set to kick-start the State Health Insurance Scheme. Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, made this disclosure at the annual Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, in commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.
Dr Idris explained that this move was in a bid to provide affordable health care and improved health care services in the state.
He said Lagos State Health Scheme, signed into law in May 2015, became necessary due to the state’s population and the pressing need to ensure all and sundry are captured in the state’s health care system.
He further disclosed that to actualize the scheme, a Core Implementation Team was set up comprising of relevant technical persons and stakeholders even from the private sector and donor communities to draw up a blueprint to facilitate the effective roll-out of the scheme.
Dr Idris maintained that the ongoing review of Public Health Law in the state and the Health Insurance Scheme, the government has chosen to implement will ensure every citizen has access to equitable health thereby contributing to the improvement of health conditions of Lagosians.
“Already, details are being finalized towards successful and effective roll out and implementation of the scheme, which will be soft launched in June while effective roll-out will commence in November,” the Commissioner said.
He explained that under the scheme, with a total of N40,000, a family of 6 is taken care of, as against N70,000 that was initially proposed, adding that gradual contribution through health insurance will provide sufficient financial protection so that no household is overburdened or impoverished in the process of seeking health care.
Enumerating on the pressure on government health facilities in meeting the health needs of Lagosians, the Commissioner pointed out that Lagos is a victim of its success as it receives an influx of people across the Federation seeking for qualitative health care services.
On the various health schemes of the government, he said the free health mission was initiated to provide free screening, consultations and treatments for various ailment as well as surgeries, and that 80,576 patients with different health issues have so far been treated during the current on-going mission to mark the Lagos at 50 celebrations.
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