Why La­gos health in­sur­ance scheme de­lays take-off

Business Day (Nigeria) - - NEWS - JOSHUA BASSEY & ANTHONIA OBOKOH

Act­ing gen­eral man­ager of La­gos State Health Man­age­ment Agency (LSHMA), Em­manuella Zamba, has ex­plained rea­sons why the La­gos State Health In­sur­ance ex­pe­ri­enced de­layed take­off after launch in 2018.

Zamba told Busi­ness­day that the need to cap­ture the bio-data of would-be ben­e­fi­cia­ries, gen­er­ate pol­icy iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for ev­ery en­rollee, among other fac­tors, com­bined to slow down the take-off of the scheme, es­pe­cially for the pub­lic sec­tor.

Her ex­pla­na­tions came as some teach­ers in Ed­u­ca­tion District 5, com­pris­ing Ojo, Amuwo-od­ofin, Ifelodu-ajeromi and Bada­gry, in the em­ploy of the state gov­ern­ment com­plain they have been un­able to ac­cess health­care ser­vices pro­vided via the scheme de­spite de­duc­tions from their salaries.

Ac­cord­ing to the teach­ers, the state gov­ern­ment com­menced de­duc­tions from their salaries into the scheme in Novem­ber 2019. But till date, they have been un­able to ac­cess health­care through the scheme in any reg­is­tered health fa­cil­i­ties due to the ab­sence of means of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

One of them, who teaches at Navy Sec­ondary School, owned by the La­gos State gov­ern­ment, on Old Ojo Road, lamented an out-of­pocket ex­pense of N60,000 last week for the treat­ment of his wife and first son, who be­came ill at the same time.

But Zamba dis­puted the teach­ers’ claims, say­ing the state gov­ern­ment only re­cently com­menced the scheme for civil ser­vants in June 2020, while the premium pay­ment started in May 2020.

She ad­vanced her po­si­tion with a cir­cu­lar is­sued on May 15, 2020 and signed by the state Head of Ser­vice, Ha­keem Muri-okunola, which read: “Fur­ther to the Head of Ser­vice Cir­cu­lar Ref. No.: CIR/HOS/’18/ VOL.1/096 of 12th De­cem­ber, 2018 on de­duc­tion of premium for the La­gos State Health Scheme (LSHS), it is hereby no­ti­fied for gen­eral in­for­ma­tion that the monthly in­stal­ments of the 25% premium/an­num de­ductible from staff salaries will com­mence with ef­fect from May, 2020, while pub­lic ser­vants and their de­pen­dants can ac­cess health­care from their cho­sen hospi­tals with ef­fect from 1st June 2020.”

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