The Lagos State Government in its determination to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), promote Ilera Eko at the grassroots and increase the number of enrolment, has partnered with media organisations in the State.

Speaking at a media parley organised by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, urged the media to further spread the news of Ilera Eko and its benefits to everyone in the State, especially at the grassroots.

He appealed to the media to educate and enlighten Lagos residents about the benefits of the social health scheme which is very vital, noting that many people do not realise that it is not when one is sick that the person needs health insurance.

According to him, “The health insurance is like a vehicle insurance, anyone that has vehicle insurance, whenever he is involved in an accident, such a person needs not to worry about the cost of repair of the vehicle or treatment of the people injured because the insurance company will foot the bill”.

“The burden of your life and wellbeing should not rest on your family and friends as health is becoming very expensive now that we are having sophisticated tech-driven health management”, Prof. Abayomi added.

The Commissioner said that with the health insurance, an enrollee is preparing himself or herself for the rainy day because the administration of health, for those who do not plan their healthcare, can either lead to poverty and dependence on families and friends but for those with health insurance, it can make them healthy and contribute to the progress of the society.

“The Lagos State Health Scheme Law of 2015 mandates every resident to have health insurance. To make residents have affordable and quality healthcare without impoverishment. The State Government has pegged the premium of Ilera Eko to N8,500 annually for an individual, while a family of six consisting of the father, mother and four children below 18 years, will pay N40,000 to access care annually”. he explained.

He maintained that Ilera Eko is for those who can either pay the premium and also for those who cannot afford to pay, as the government through the equity fund caters for the payment of the health premium of the vulnerable in the State.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, represented by the Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Olumide Sogunle, acknowledged the media support in propagating the Ilera Eko Health Scheme.

He called on the media to spread the gospel starting from their homes to their friends and family members as well as ensure that their management enrols all other employees on the Ilera Eko health plan.

The General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, during the presentation on “Ilera Eko: Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC)”, said that Ilera Eko health plan is a hugely subsidised healthcare management and financing plan which saves enrollees from plunging into poverty.

She said that the Ilera Eko benefit package covers about 80 per cent of the healthcare needs of the residents, adding that efforts are ongoing to provide a bouquet of health plans.

The General Manager said that about 222 healthcare institutions, consisting of the Primary Health Centres (PHC), General Hospitals and Private Hospitals, are service providers under the Lagos State Health Scheme, warning that the Agency would not hesitate to sanction any erring provider to ensure quality service and value-for-money to enrollees.

The event also witnessed the presentation of cash prizes to the winners of the Ilera Eko Mascot competition aimed to drive street awareness for the health insurance scheme. The overall winner of the competition, Oyinkansola Olateju, who won the competition with an Eagle, received a cash price of N200,000, while the first runner up, Aduniyi Omotola, with a Cockerel got N100,000 and the second runner up, Ishola Adebola, who won with a butterfly, received N50,000.

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