Medical Guild, AGPMN Tackle Lagos over Health Insurance

On 14/Nov/2019 / In Medical News

The Lagos State chapters of the  Medical Guild and  Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria have attributed the slow take-off of the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme to the failure of the state government to carry stakeholders along.
 
Our correspondent learnt that 10 months after the  scheme was inaugurated by  ex-governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the scheme had yet to fully take off. The Chairman, Medical  Guild, Lagos State, Dr Babajide Saheed, at a press  briefing recently  said, “All over the world, people are moving towards health insurance and jettisoning out-of-pocket payment.
 
“The way health insurance is being done in other countries is different from the way we are doing ours. “Looking at National Health Insurance Scheme, it can only cover five per cent of the population. We are telling Lagos State to learn from the NHIS and not toe the same path. “For instance, on the premium package, the Federal Government is paying doctors N750 per patient and we are complaining that it is too low. Now the Lagos State 
 
Government wants to pay us N300 per patient. At the end of the day, how will the patient be satisfied?” He added that the state government refused to carry the relevant stakeholders along in implementing the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme. Saheed said, “The Medical 
 
Guild, the NMA (Nigerian Medical Association) and other stakeholders were not involved. You cannot have a programme when the stakeholders are not there. The information we have is that only about 30 per cent of civil servants had subscribed to the health insurance scheme. The only way this scheme will work in the state is when all the stakeholders are invited to discuss the way forward.”
 
The state AGPMN Chairman, Dr Tunji Akintade, on the sidelines of the 2019 Pharmacists’ Day celebrations, said the state must put a functional health system in place before introducing the health insurance scheme.
 
He said, “The first thing that needs to be established before the introduction of health insurance is the health system. The major issue in the scheme has been the capitation, benefits package and the enrolment of people in the scheme.”
 
During the inauguration of the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme in 2018, Ambode declared that the scheme was compulsory for all  residents of the state. He also said payments would be deducted from the salaries of civil servants, while non-civil servants would have to subscribe to the scheme.
 
Efforts made by our correspondent to find out the number of residents who had subscribed to the scheme were not successful as the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme had yet to respond to a letter written to that effect on July 17, 2019.
 
In the letter, our correspondent sought to know the penalty for not subscribing to the scheme.

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