DFID, PATHS2 urge implementation of Lagos Health Scheme Law 2015
United Kingdom’s Department For International Development (DFID) has commended the Lagos State government’s passage of the new Health Management Law 2015, urging the governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration to begin implementation.
The document, signed into law by the last administration, provides for a health-managing agency, mandatory health insurance for Lagosians and fund pool for the state health sector.
DFID, through its implementing agency — Partnership for Transforming Health Systems II (PATHS2) — said the law was a landmark innovation in state health sector. Healthcare Financing Technical Specialist, PATHS2, Dr. Adesoji Ologun, after assessment of the provisions, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) state has move from erstwhile plan for free healthcare to affordable healthcare for the public.
Ologun noted the law is significant for establishing the Lagos State Health Management Agency and the Lagos State Health Scheme for all residents of Lagos State, among others.
The management agency, according to the provision, shall promote, regulate, supervise and ensure the effective administration of the Lagos state Health scheme. Ologun explains that the agency is such that can purchase from both public and private healthcare providers, being the first where both critical sectors are actually brought together.
According to him, “It is now clear that Lagos is trying to use private means to achieve public end. This is a massive paradigm shift from the usual practice in the country and it is the best ever. The system is using public needs to generate means in private facilities,” he said. Besides, the Lagos state health scheme is compulsory for all residents of Lagos state who are not covered under an existing voluntary scheme.
The scheme shall comprise of the Lagos state health plan, the formal health plan and the Lagos state private health plan. Consequently, “The private provider can now also have steady source of clientele since everyone will be on health insurance.
The objectives of the scheme is to ensure that all residents of the state have financial protection in their physical access to effective, quality and affordable healthcare services, maintain high standard of healthcare delivery services within the scheme, ensure efficiency in healthcare delivery, improve and harness private sector participation in the provision of healthcare services and so on.”
The act also establishes the Lagos state health fund that will be funded form various sources including a government contribution of at least one per cent of the state’s consolidated revenue and contribution from NHIS for target groups.
The act empowers the agency to purchase healthcare from eligible provider form the public and private healthcare sector. “It is in the interest of everyone that the health scheme fully get off the ground and serve as a model for other states in the country.
The state has done very well and the best way to fulfill their election campaign promises on health is to see the health agency kick off. It is one agency that will have a better control of price because it is able to purchase in bulk,” he said.
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