By Chioma Obinna
As the Lagos State government rolls out its State Health Insurance Scheme, healthcare providers have called for effective collaboration among health professionals and the government with a view to achieving Universal Health Coverage, UHC.
According to them, UHC is the only tool that would ensure access to healthcare for all Lagosians and Nigerians at large.
The health providers under the auspices of Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria, HCPAN, who noted that health insurance was a very simple way to achieve universal health coverage, posited that when health workers work in harmony patient care is assured.
Speaking during the 2017 Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Lagos HCPAN, the Chairman, Dr. Edward Ademola Aina maintained that a unified health workforce would strengthen health insurance in Nigeria.
Aina who appealed to the Lagos state government to carry providers along in the state’s health insurance scheme stated that for a successful scheme, there is need for the state government to adopt an intersectoral collaboration.
“The level of planning in every project matters. Today, what we have done is to bring all the stakeholders together to interact with government and relevant authorities so that we can bring up our own ideas, reservations and observations and then put all these ideas together to fashion out a health insurance scheme that is all encompassing.”
Aina further identified consistent review of capitation (monthly money paid to providers on monthly basis that covers persons registered under their facility) as a major factor to ensure sustainability in the scheme.
“It must be such an amount that the provider will be able to survive, improve his practice and facilities, put the right manpower in place because if we don’t have that, then we will not achieve results and those are the reasons why we are meeting together with the government.”
“Lagos state has blazed the trail by introducing the scheme; the only way whereby everybody whether rich or poor can walk into the hospital and get treatment even without money in his pocket is through health insurance.”
In his lecture, entitled: “The Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme: Ready to Go”, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said the LSHIS would address the issue of quality which has remained a major issue in the health sector.
According to him, under the scheme, quality is being addressed in two levels. For instance, any provider that is selected to operate the new scheme must meet the requirements for verification by the state Health Facility Monitory Agency, HEFAMMA.
Speaking, the Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter, ACPN, Biola Paul-Ozieh called on health workers in Nigeria to work in harmony for the benefit of their patients. Paul- Ozieh noted that Nigeria health workers still lack the needed collaboration to drive the health sector most especially the proposed Lagos State Health insurance scheme.