The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has urged the Health Management Organisations (HMOs), Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) of the government to partner the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) on the implementation of its regulatory functions.

The Commissioner, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by LASHMA at Shoregate Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, said it is important that all the HMOs, MDAs and other organisations in the State, partner with LASHMA in order to achieve the vital Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all residents of the State.

He said that the government alone cannot realise the dream of providing an affordable, effective, efficient and quality healthcare to residents but with the collective responsibility of all, the dream would be accomplished.

Prof. Abayomi averred that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is passionate and committed to ensuring that every Lagos resident is physically, mentally and psychologically healthy, stressing that adequate healthcare is a priority of the State government.

According to him, statistics revealed that 70 percent of residents could not afford basic healthcare but that the Lagos State Government is committed to fulfilling its part by ensuring that there is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the residents irrespective of their economic, social or tribal class.

Abayomi promised that government would continue to fulfil its responsibilities by ensuring equity in the provision of funding and basic healthcare delivery, saying “it is our duty to protect our citizens, through social justice and social health insurance scheme, as these would improve their wellbeing, productivity and trust in the government”.

He asserted that it is the primary responsibility of government to regulate services and provision to Lagos State residents, through the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), which is also mandated to ensure that the insured residents have value for their money.

While noting that the State Government presently provides 80-84 percent of people with basic healthcare needs, through the social health insurance scheme, Prof. Abayomi declared that as the funding pool grows, the present administration will extend the coverage and urged participants at the forum to ensure that unified data of all health insured residents are created to guide and show the trajectory of the State towards Universal Health Coverage.

The Commissioner said that through LASHMA, the government is interested in the data of those who are covered on the Scheme, as data analysis will depict gaps and policy plans that would further assist in instituting necessary structures of advancing the scheme towards Universal Health Coverage.

Earlier, the Chairman, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) Board, Dr. Adetokunbo Alakija, said that quality and affordable healthcare is essential for all in a bid to ensure that diseases, sickness and old age, which is relatable to every family, does not end in tragedy for anyone.

Alakija submitted that part of the Agency’s mandate, which is to improve healthcare and ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in a cost-effective way, would increase accountability, enforce standards and reinstate people’s trust.

The Chairman commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA), and the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, for their various roles and support in ensuring that the people of the State have access to affordable healthcare.

On her part, the General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, said that the stakeholders’ meeting was convened to sensitise the participants on the provisions of the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS), expose them to the regulatory and operational roles of the Agency and further discuss the marketing of all health plans in the State for the realisation of economic benefits of the Scheme and Universal Health Coverage.

Dr. Zamba maintained that the meeting is a starting point on the regulatory role of LASHMA as participants would, at all times, be invited until the Agency attains its set goals and objectives.

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