Nigeria: Constitute Governing Council, NHIs Tasks Lagos Health Scheme

10 December 2019

As debates continue on the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, has picked holes in its structure, saying, it lacks a constituted governing council.

The Management of the NHIS has also urged the State government to constitute a proper and effective structure to drive the sustainability of its health insurance scheme.

The General Manager, South-West Zonal Coordinator of NHIS, Mr Olufemi Akingbade, who spoke at the Annual General Meeting/Scientific Conference of the Lagos Medical Guild in Lagos with the theme: "Lagos State Health Scheme: The Facts, The Myths" explained having a Board would ensure effective operation within the defined scope of the law and make sure that funds meant for the scheme are judiciously implemented to drive effective healthcare delivery system.

"This Board should include individuals with experience in operation of health insurance and not just politicians."

He further identified the need for the appointment of an external auditor that would do the check and balance of the operation of the Scheme.

Akigbade, however described the step taken by the state government as a bold step to reduce out-of-pocket spending and poverty rate as well as improving its health indices.

Speaking, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, assured that more governing board would be constituted before the end of the year.

He said the state was putting in place different mechanisms that would enable it to provide an effective safety net to cushion the rising health cost on citizens, while providing quality healthcare services.

He told the members of Medical Guild that the government understood the pressure and strain that they and other health workers were going through, adding that their sacrifices and selfless service were appreciated.

The Commissioner said already a strategic master plan that would assist doctors to perform better, and reduce the incidence of brain -drain was on top gear. "I have had series of meetings with the leaders of the Medical Guild; I have told them to present all their issues and I will take it to the various channels to get speedy resolutions."

He called for harmony among health workers saying it would assist them in developing the health sector.

On his part, the immediate past Chairman of the Chairman, Lagos Medical Guild, Dr Babajide Saheed urged the Lagos State government to expedite actions in implementing its various plans for the workers and the sector.

Recounting the achievements of the executive members of the Guild, he said they have been able to secure structural training for doctors, state government now implementing proposals for the employment for more doctors, ensuring appropriate staffing, among others.

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