Why Lagos health insurance scheme delays take-off
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.”