Lagos- Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Thursday called on health management experts to assist the state government to fashion out a sustainable health insurance system.
Fashola made the call while speaking at the opening of the state`s council of health meeting held at the Civic Centre, Lagos.
He said that the need to improve access to healthcare in the state had compelled the government to consider the idea, saying that experts` advice is needed to properly kick start the scheme.
``The state government, through a number of health facilities and initiatives is providing affordable healthcare for residents but there are limits to what we can do due to budgetary constraints.
``For example, the government cannot carry out free caesarian section, which costs, as I gathered between N70 000 to 250 000 for all those who need it.
``Also, the government cannot afford to undertake the free treatment of all cases of kidney failure, which costs about N3 million, though we have helped to treat some cases.
``So the idea of a health insurance scheme for the state is necessary to improve access to healthcare. We therefore need professionals to assist us to develop the framework for the scheme,” he said.
He said the scheme could take off with an impressive N14 billion if only about six million employed adults made a monthly contribution of N200 to it.
Fashola said that the government would not relent on its efforts to provide more health facilities in the state in order to increase access to health care.
He said that no fewer than seven maternal and child care centres had been established across the state, saying that the objective was to reduce cases of maternal and neo-natal deaths.
A health management expert, Prof. Doyin Soyibo, said that there was the need to review the NHIS law to make the scheme more effective.
According to him, the scheme is currently facing many operational and regulatory inadequacies.
Soyibo said that a holistic review would ensure that more Nigerians were captured by the scheme.