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Lagos health insurance scheme will grow services, says report

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By Chioma Obinna

As the Lagos State government prepares to roll out the mandatory State Health Insurance Scheme, SHIS, report of an assessment carried out on its health sector has revealed that the introduction of the  SHIS, will grow health services but increase workload on the state’s institutional capacity.

The  project is aimed towards achieving Actuarial Analysis of the projected costs of providing insurance coverage for the state’s benefit programmes.

The findings by the State government in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, funded Health Finance & Governance, HFG, tagged: “Evidenced Synthesis on Fiscal Space Analysis, Governance & State Health Account Assessments” also pointed out that some  existing health facilities require attention.

Presenting the findings at a workshop tagged: “Lagos State Evidence Synthesis Workshop”, in Lagos, Dr. Tanko Yakassai said the it was revealed that  the state’s Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, HEFAMAA, current institutional capacity cannot take up the responsibility required for the take off of the scheme, hence, the need to strengthened agency to carry out its function.

According to Yakassai, the report which observed that Lagos State has relatively adequate human resources for health and well distributed health facilities, recommended that the Primary Health Care Under One Roof, PHCUOR, policy must be fully implemented.

It said that State Primary Health Care Management Boards, SPHCMB, were not able to effectively hold PHC workers accountable due to non –implementation of PHCOUR.

Yakassai, stressed the need for policy sustainability, and capacity building to ensure consensus and coalition formulation for continuous appraisal of the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme.

Earlier, USAID Representative, Dr. Abimbola Kola –Jebutu expressed optimism that the  LSHIS, would be a model for other states.

He said the HFG programme was implemented without external  funding, noting: “money is the oxygen of healthcare and when there is money health systems works better.”

According to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris,the assessment was done to ensure proper packaging of the SHIS for effective service delivery.

Represented by the Director of Research Planning and statistics, Dr Olufemi Taiwo, Idris said the Scheme was mandatory for all residents in the state.

“Prior to this Scheme, we have assisted our people with free health which has overstretched our services and the high burden of diseases in the state has caused a lot of stretched to our health institutions.

“The HFG project will assist us in working out the modalities such as providers, payment mechanism, and ensure it becomes a reality and a huge success. A lot of meetings are going on for operational guidelines and we are also working on ICT,” he explained.

The package for the Health Insurance Scheme will cover screening, diagnosis and treatment for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, ante/post natal services, Nutrition, Immunization, Hypertension and Diabetes. Others include, communicable and non- communicable diseases, HIV/ AID, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Emergency Services.

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