The Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) has revealed that it has registered an estimated 756,000 residents in the state for its health insurance scheme. The General Manager of LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, disclosed this at the agency’s first annual Ilera Eko forum themed “The Brighter Future,” where she also talked about innovative ways to support healthcare providers in upgrading their services without concerns about inflation.
“The beauty of health insurance is that it takes human side financing, which is people’s money to provide healthcare. What that means is that every month, a fixed amount goes into the facility from every person that is enrolled,” Dr. Zamba said, stressing that LASHMA is committed to advancing the quality of healthcare delivery to residents of Lagos State.
LASHMA’s health insurance scheme includes both public and private facilities in the state. Providers can now enroll people into their facilities, and LASHMA can support them in having sensitization exercises in their localities to increase the number of people who come their way. This, in turn, will increase the funding that is coming to them.
The first annual Ilera Eko forum brought together healthcare providers from across the state to share ideas, policies, and strategies that would help improve access and standard healthcare. LASHMA wants the Ilera Eko scheme to be sustainable and successful, and the forum was conceived to provide a platform for stakeholders in the health sector to collaborate on achieving this goal.
LASHMA’s commitment to advancing the quality of healthcare delivery in Lagos State was reiterated by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye. “The plan is not only for the vulnerable, it is for anybody that is willing to pay for it. In fact, it is now compulsory to get health insurance, but for the vulnerables, we don’t want to leave them behind. It will be terrible to leave people just because they can’t afford it,” he said.
Dr. Zamba highlighted the role of private healthcare providers in the Ilera Eko scheme, saying that LASHMA is committed to supporting them in upgrading their services. “We can support them to have sensitization exercises in their localities, so we help them to increase the number of people who come their way because that increases the funding that is coming to them,” she said.
She added that healthcare providers can enroll people into their facilities, and LASHMA can support them with funding to upgrade their facilities and purchase equipment. “We want to make sure that we can have both the public and private facilities running at the same level. Whatever we are doing on the public side, we are also doing to support the private side. Those are things that we are looking at with regard to providers’ management,” she said.
The Ilera Eko forum also addressed the issue of quality of service delivery. “The insurance holders will not continue to pay for insurance if they are not happy with the quality of service, and that would also affect the quality of healthcare that they get when they get to these centers,” Dr. Zamba said.
LASHMA is committed to ensuring that the Ilera Eko scheme is sustainable and successful. To achieve this goal, the agency is exploring innovative ways to support providers in upgrading their services without concerns about inflation. This includes exploring new funding models and collaborating with healthcare providers to improve the quality of healthcare delivery.
The forum ended with a call for collaboration among stakeholders in the health sector to ensure that the goal of achieving universal health coverage in Lagos State is achieved. The attendees also discussed the challenges facing the health sector in the state, such as inadequate funding, shortage of health workers, poor infrastructure, and the need to provide quality healthcare services to the increasing population of the state.
However, there was a general consensus that with sustained efforts and effective collaboration between the government, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders, these challenges can be overcome, and the goal of providing affordable and quality healthcare to all residents of Lagos State can be achieved.