The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said on Wednesday that at least 66 percent of people living in the state cannot afford basic healthcare as they are a step away from extreme poverty.
He said about N60 billion is required to rescue the people and provide healthcare for them under the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on his plans to reposition the state health sector, Abayomi regretted that only 33 percent of Lagosians can afford healthcare, adding that the situation has affected the smooth take-off of the state health insurance scheme.
According to the commissioner, the 66 percent who are living below the poverty threshold cannot afford the healthcare services and are yet to be captured in the state-owned insurance scheme.
He said: “If the whole equity funds of the state are used to address the issue, it will only cater for five percent of the underprivileged population leaving 61 percent out of the scheme.
“We need at least N50 to N60 billion to rescue the underprivileged in order for them to be beneficiaries of the scheme. We have to address the health of the underprivileged people.
“We feel they are one step away from poverty and they don’t have the capacity to respond to sickness when it occurs.”