The Lagos State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council -Trade Union Side (JPSNC) has charged the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) to do exactly what it promised to do for the labour force in the state regarding health insurance.
Speaking in Lagos at a joint session on health insurance awareness campaign, with the theme: Talk The Work And Work The Talk, the chairman of the council, Olusegun Rhamom Balogun, alerted LASHMA that productivity anywhere is a function of sound minds, body and soul.
According to him, LASHMA must Prioritize and foster an inclusive health system for every worker and their families, saying that, health care remains their right and not a privilege. His words: “Our objecting as the leader of workers is to see that every worker in the Public Service have unrestricted access to health care they deserve regardless of their income. All we want is a system that works for everybody and not some selected few,”
Balogun stressed that LASHMA was established to ensure that workers along with our members have easy access to affordable and quality care services as a way of promoting a workforce that is physically, mentally and psychologically fit to discharge their duties.
He implored its members and LASHMA to strive to educate members against the dogma and cynicism about insurance in Nigeria, if all workers in the Public Service must enjoy the numerous benefits the health insurance provides. “By collaborating, both parties must always come up with better strategies of improving the operations of the Scheme for the benefit of our members, if we must achieve the Universal Health Coverage,” he asserted
Reacting, the Chairman of LASHMA, Adetokunbo Alakija affirmed that the Agency had taken actionable steps to bring the state closer to Universal Health Coverage since the beginning of its plan, which includes the payment of 75% of health insurance premiums for public servants in the state and creating the state equity fund, which is 1% of the state’s consolidated revenue fund, used to pay premiums for poor and vulnerable residents in the state.
According to him, the scheme is still in its early stages, though had encountered some challenges in the past year among which are: Awareness of the scheme, distribution of health facilities, utilization of services and the proximity of hospitals on the scheme’s provider’s network to the residential homes of those who live in Lagos state.
“We reassure everyone that we are finding definitive solutions to every challenge so that ‘Ilera Eko’ (A a call to action for all residents to prioritise their health and buy into the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS)) will not only leave no one behind but deliver quality to everyone,”
Speaking, the special adviser to the State governor on Labour & Industrial Relations, Babatunde Williams, reiterated the indispensability of health insurance for all and sundry saying that, getting a good health insurance cover for oneself and family gives one the financial confidence to take care of oneself and loved ones when needs arise.
“Health insurance plan also gives you the added protection in this time where cost of hospitalization and medical expenses is high. The Lagos State Government in its bid to ensure quality health care delivery to Lagosians, anchored the State Healthcare System on a Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme to make for access and affordability while ensuring that all hospitals; Primary, Secondary and Tertiary are fully equipped and operational.
“LASHMA is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that all residents of Lagos State including Public Servants have unfettered access to affordable and quality healthcare services devoid of financial distresses and huge medical bills,”
He added that the overall health and well-being of the State workforce is a priority to the administration hence the need for all Public Servants to come on board and enjoy the benefits therein. “A virile and healthy workforce free from the distractions of medical emergencies is a plus to the Government and a vital component in the actualization of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda and the realization the greater Lagos vision,” he added.
From Left: Dr. Abiodun Onayele, Permanent Secretary, Office of Establisments & Training; Dr. Ibrahim Mustapha, Permanent Secretary, Primary Health Care Board; Mr Ogundeko, Permanent Secretary,Ministry of Special Duties; Hon. Babatunde Williams, Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters; Comrade Olusegun Balogun, Chairman, Lagos State Public Service Negotiating Council, Trade Union Side; Dr.Adetokunbo Alakija, Chairman Lagos State Health Management Agency and Dr Emmanuelle Zamba, General Manager, Lagos State Health Managent Agency at the Joint session on Health Inurance Awareness Campaign, by Joint Public Service Negotiating Council -Trade Union Side (JPSNC) and the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) in Lagos recently.