Lagos adopts technology on health access

The Lagos State government said yesterday that it would adopt a technology-based application to ensure easy access to its proposed mandatory health scheme, especially for underprivileged households.

The Lagos State Health Scheme, according to the state government, is a state-wide health insurance initiative aimed at ensuring that all residents of the state have access to quality, affordable health care services.

The scheme covers treatment of common adult and childhood ailments, maternal and child services, preventive healthcare services, selected non-communicable diseases and surgeries.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said in a statement that the technology, CarePay ICT platform, is a mobile solution for scheme administration, “which serves as a digital health exchange that would connect the three important stakeholders in healthcare: payers, healthcare providers and the users or beneficiaries.”

Idris expressed optimism that the CarePay platform would guarantee ownership of all data generated, and ensure that the data can be used to make informed decisions.

He said an objective of the scheme was to demonstrate how digital mobile solutions can be utilised to improve decision-making and transparency, reduce transaction costs and increase access to health care delivery, especially for poor households.

Idris said the state Ministry of Health was collaborating with PharmAccess Foundation Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to improving access to healthcare in Africa through technology and mobile innovations.

He added that the scheme’s proof of concept had 153 families (659 enrollees) in two facilities (one private provider and one public provider) in Alimosho Local Government, Lagos State.

Idris said, “Having run for a period of 12 months, the pilot witnessed 659 beneficiaries, whose premium was paid for by PharmAccess Nigeria, and who received access to free healthcare for the duration of the pilot.

“The results of this pilot show that the scheme is doable and is a step in the right direction towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the residents of Lagos State.”

The Country Director, PharmAccess Foundation Nigeria, Mrs Njide Ndili, said that the proof of concept which started in September 2017 was implemented to demonstrate how the scheme can improve the lives of the most vulnerable population at scale, using the mobile phone and light technology.


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