Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The Launch Of The Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

As you may be aware, the Lagos State Health Scheme was established by Law No.4 of May, 2015. This law was inspired by Government’s desire to provide access to affordable and quality Healthcare Services to all residents of Lagos.

The job of implementing this law fell on our administration and for the past Three and Half years we have been working on the implementation of this delicate but very important scheme. I can assure you that providing a Health Insurance Scheme for all residents of Lagos State is a tough task but one we were committed to executing.

We were committed to implementing this programme because the welfare of all Lagosians is of paramount interest to us and we came into office with a promise to make Lagos work for all.

I am delighted that we have fulfilled that promise and are gathered at this historic and momentous occasion today for the formal launch of the Lagos State Insurance Health Scheme. It is historic because it marks a distinct milestone in the State Government’s effort to ensure the sustained provision of a critical social service to our teeming Lagos population.

The overall goal of this scheme is to ensure that all residents of the State have unhindered access to sustainable, quality and affordable healthcare services with financial risk protection including subsidy from government subsidy.

Since the passage of the Law, the Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Health Management Agency established by the Lagos State Health Law as the regulator of the Scheme, have been working with several Local and International Technical Partners to design the scheme in line with the requirements of the law and best practices driven by our local needs, experiences and technological developments. This effort was time consuming but necessary to ensure we give the good people of Lagos a Healthcare Scheme that is fit for purpose and sustainable.

It is a known fact that out of pocket payment for healthcare deters access to Health Services especially for indigents and other vulnerable persons in our society. This situation contributes to increased morbidity and mortality with the resultant adverse effect on the human capital development and economic prosperity of Lagos.

To ensure that the indigent and vulnerable, who are most susceptible to the difficulties of out of pocket payments for healthcare, are enrolled into the Lagos State Health Scheme, we have set aside 1% of the State’s consolidated revenue in the 2018 budget for this purpose.

By Law, this scheme is mandatory for all residents of the State. That is the trend nationwide. The process of identifying and registering the beneficiaries has commenced in a number of our developing communities whose residents are mostly indigent.

The Government has also made provision for all State and Local Government workers and their nuclear families to be enrolled into the Scheme at a subsidized rate.

This scheme will deliver significant benefits to the economy of the State. Beyond ensuring we have a healthy population, this scheme will foster inclusion and increase in the utilization of hospital services thereby creating employment opportunities for medical professionals which will definitely have a positive impact on the economy of our State.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Lagos State Health Scheme has come to stay. Robust mechanisms have been put in place to ensure transparency in its operations and in the management of funds. These will help to ensure this initiative outlives any government administration.

We intend to continue to commit resources to improve our medical facilities and enhance the scope of coverage. However, the State Government cannot do this alone. I therefore call on our partners in the Private Sector to see the LSHS as an effective vehicle to positively impact their communities.

I encourage corporate bodies, high net-worth individuals, government agencies, multilaterals and NGO’s to adopt vulnerable groups of persons by funding their healthcare coverage.  It will be an investment which will yield incalculable dividends because every life saved could be a very valuable member of society and potential leader.

I enjoin all Lagosians to embrace this scheme which aligns with global best practice in healthcare financing. With this scheme, every Lagosian, no matter your socio-economic status, is guaranteed access to quality healthcare service.

Just last week, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Chairman of the National Economic Council, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, launched the Human Capital Development Programme with the theme, “Healthy, Educated and Productive Nigerians for a Globally Competitive Nation vision by 2030’. The programme focused on three main areas; health and nutrition, education and labour force participation.

This ties in with what we have done here today. This is what our great party, All Progressives Congress stands for. Our gubernatorial candidate, Jide Sanwoolu, is also committed to this initiative. His presence and that of his running mate is a clear indication of our doctrine of continuity in governance.

I urge all Lagosians to ensure that this people-oriented scheme is sustained by voting wisely and voting continuity.

Today, we have laid another brick into that building that is the Lagos of our dreams. I enjoin you to continue to work with us to make this dream a reality.

Thank You and God bless you all

Itesiwaju eko lo jewa logun.