The Lagos state government announced its desire to partner with private sector operators in implementing the recently unveiled mandatory health insurance scheme in the state.
Dr. Jide Idris, the state commissioner for health, said the scheme can achieve a high success rate with the partnership of operators in the private sector. He said the present infrastructure in the public healthcare system was insufficient to meet the needs of enrolees.
Idris noted that some equipment in private hospitals were being under-utilised and will find good use for the public when deployed for the scheme.
The health commissioner, who spoke during a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), explained that the policy of government is to ensure that each ward has a primary health facility but efforts are underway to partner with the private sector that have existing facilities in such wards.
He said the scheme was mostly directed at the poor, to enable them have access to healthcare without paying from their pockets.
The General Manager of the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr Peju Adenusi said the Scheme, officially launched by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on December 18, 2018, was specifically established to meet the gaps identified from existing health insurance schemes in Nigeria.
Adenusi noted that the main pillars of accessibility, equity, quality, and financial protection were taken into consideration when the Lagos State Health Scheme was being put together. She said “one of the things that will be happening within the Scheme is the quality improvement programme that is engaging the providers on a continuous basis to make sure that what is being provided is what is promised to the people”.