Participants at a two day workshop on Repositioning the Lagos State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) for effectiveness have called for an action plan to address the staffing and infrastructural challenges facing the agency.
The capacity building workshop which was organised by the Pharm Access Foundation Nigeria and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) also called for outsourcing of operational functions of HEFAMAA to private entities as well as the adoption of Safe Care as the quality improvement methodology for emplanement of providers on the scheme.
Participants at the two day workshop which was held at the Renaissance Hotel Ikeja included the Permanent Secretary Primary Health Care Board, Executive Secretary and staff of HEFAMAA, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Health Care Planning, Research and Statistics and officials of the Ministry of Health and the Health Services Commission. Leaders of the Lagos state branches of umbrella private professional association for all private healthcare providers, doctors, community pharmacists, nurses and laboratory scientists.
They also called for the amendment of the 2006 Lagos State Health sector Reform Law establishing HEFAMAA and the development of HEFAMAA guidelines and handbook.
Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Primary HealthCare, Dr Olufemi Onanuga charged all participants to articulate recommendations on strengthening HEFAMAA’s capacity and pledged his unflinching support for the agency’s activities.
The Country Director of Pharm Access Foundation Nigeria, Ms. Njide Ndili stated that ‘the workshop is a very important step to properly align the agency and all the relevant stakeholders, and support its objectives to regulate the healthcare sector in Lagos State ahead of the flag off of the mandatory health insurance scheme. We are delighted that we can support this process’.
HEFAMAA was established in March 2006 by Health Sector Reform Law (HSRL) 2006. The agency’s mandate is to regulate and improve the quality of health care delivery in Lagos. HEFAMAA is responsible for setting minimum standards for operations of public and private health facilities in Lagos, accredit, inspect and license all health facilities according to the schedules of HSRL 2006 as well as ensure the authenticity of the credentials of health personnel working in Lagos.
The workshop was designed to address gaps, challenges and proffer recommendations to the State Government on repositioning HEFAMAA to fulfill its mandate as the regulatory agency for the health sector by registering and licensing health establishments, setting standards for quality assurance, applying penalties and sanctions as well as its emerging role of accrediting health facilities for the upcoming health insurance scheme. This is aimed at improving the quality of service delivery and health outcomes in Lagos State.