It's a new dawn for health care in Lagos state as Governor Babatunde Fashola has signed into law the Lagos State Health Management Agency Bill, which will mandate Lagosians to have compulsory health insurance.
According to Business Day, the bill is pro-poor in nature recognising that the poor and vulnerable will need to have subsidised premiums from the state government.
Speaking on the bill, Fashola said:
“For those who cannot afford the scheme Lagos State is not saying there is no free health anymore, but we know that there are things that are covered under the free health like malaria treatment and antenatal. For those things that are not covered by the health scheme and cannot be afforded by the less privileged, it will be paid for.”
Health stakeholders believe this act by the state government signals a sure way of improving health outcomes in Lagos and ensuring that the poor have access to quality healthcare.
Citizens are mandated to contribute into the Lagos Health Fund regardless of whether they consume care or not in the bill as the aim is to run a Lagos State health scheme that will be made mandatory for all residents of Lagos State.
Furthermore, the bill recognises that in existence are prepaid health care agencies already being subscribed to by residents of Lagos State but the minimum anyone can have is a plan under the Lagos State healthcare.
To this end, the Lagos State registration agency card will be the least perquisite for anybody to be registered under the scheme.
The bill will start running later this year though the process is ongoing.