The Lagos State Health Management Agency has urged healthcare providers in the state and other stakeholders in the health sector to partner with the agency to improve access and quality of care of enrollees of the state’s health insurance scheme, ‘Ilera Eko’.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi made the call at the First Annual Ilera Eko Providers Forum themed, “The Brighter Future”, organised by LASHMA.
Prof. Abayomi who was represented by Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said LASHMA had expanded benefit packages for the Ilera Eko scheme.
The commissioner said, “We have taken actionable steps towards improving access and benefits on ‘Ilera Eko’ by expanding the health benefits package on the ‘Ilera Eko’ plan, and various provider improvement initiatives are also being implemented, from technical training to the distribution of drugs to address out-of-stock.
“We must strengthen collaborations and partnerships with all stakeholders key to the healthcare delivery system in Lagos, and I believe that having a platform such as this forum is a critical step to achieving this.
“And we must remember that our successes serve as a reference for other health systems, as such it is important that we get it right, and sustain it.
“I believe that this forum will serve as a platform to facilitate knowledge exchange between the health care providers and the Agency to define strategies for the improvement of access and quality of care on the Lagos State Health Scheme.”
In her welcome address, the General Manager of LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, urged all the stakeholders to join hands with the Agency in achieving its goal of providing access to quality and affordable care to the residents.
Dr. Zamba said the agency was partnering with different stakeholders in the state to ensure that the residents have access to quality and affordable healthcare.
“The annual providers’ forum will facilitate knowledge exchange between healthcare providers and LASHMA for defined policy strategies for the improvement of access and quality of care of the scheme.
“The annual providers’ forum was conceived to provide a platform for us to be able to engage our providers very constructively, get their feedback, introduce strategies that we are coming up with and ensure that we are both together in developing policies and strategies that will improve access, quality and affordable healthcare. This is very important for the sustainability of the health insurance programme”, she said
A board member of LASHMA, Dr. Tunji Akintade, in his remarks, urged the healthcare providers to identify opportunities and incentives that would enhance cooperation and foster partnerships that will deliver the Ilera Eko mandate.
Dr. Akintade noted,” We must avoid any reversal or stagnation in the significant progress we have made so far on the scheme by continually engaging and charging ourselves to create innovative solutions to implementation challenges.
“We must continue to remove the barriers preventing people from getting the quality healthcare they need on the scheme, and what better way to do that is to garner the full participation of all healthcare providers in Lagos State.”
Healthcare providers at the event drawn from the public and private sectors commended the LASHMA for the initiative, noting that universal health coverage cannot be achieved without health insurance.