Lagos State has launched the Ibeju-Lekki Community Based Health Insurance Scheme for the provision of sustainable healthcare coverage for the people of the state in line with the notions of accessibility, equity and affordability.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Dr Femi Olugbile at the launch of the scheme explained that the scheme signaled the beginning of a new order in the creation of a formalized welfare system for the provision of sustainable healthcare coverage for the citizens of the state.
He noted that the scheme had been specifically designed to provide financial access to healthcare for members of the Iberekodo and Awoyaya communities with an estimated population of 85,423 covering seven political wards into which premiums are paid in advance on monthly basis.
The commissioner said the decision to embark upon the community based health insurance model within the larger State Health Insurance Scheme framework was premised on both global best practices as well as a firm understanding of the distinctive features of the stateâ€™s population and economy.
Community based health insurance is health insurance managed by the community for non-profit motives based on an ethic of mutual aid and solidarity among its members.
This model has been effectively used to extend social health protection to erstwhile not reached informal sector of the population within West Africa and East Africa with countries including neighbouring Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda having deployed the model with significant successes.
According to Idris, the blueprint for the revitalization of the primary health care system is the community based financing strategy which was adopted for implementation after extensive stakeholder sensitization and consultative meetings with the participation of various sectors, including the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, private sector healthcare providers, development partners and health maintenance organizations.