Re-assess Proposed Lagos health Scheme, Community Pharmacists Tell Ambode

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– As association gets new executives

The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria ACPN, Lagos State Chapter, has called on the Lagos State government, under the leadership of Governor Akinwumi Ambode, to critically re-evaluate the implementation of the proposed Lagos State Health Scheme in order to avoid booby traps that may derail the good intentions of the state government in its drive towards universal health coverage.

The immediate past chairman of the association, Pharm. (Mrs) Biola Paul-Ozieh, made the appeal during the association’s 2018 annual general meeting held in Lagos recently.

Pharm. (Mrs) Biola Paul-Ozieh, immediate past chairman Lagos ACPN, Pharm. Olabanji Benedict Obideyi, chairman, Lagos ACPN; and Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, vice-chairman, at the event.

According to her, any health scheme or health insurance scheme that will deliberately overlook matters of professional role separation and inclusiveness, segregation of health facilities into primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as payment mechanism is bound to fail woefully just like the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The former ACPN chairman further noted that the unfortunate developments in the NHIS, including the recent management imbroglio, had made the scheme more or less moribund, saying it would require strong political will on the part of the federal government to revive it.

“In the case of the proposed Lagos State Health Scheme, the public that will be made to make monthly, quarterly and annual payments to the scheme should not be shortchanged through shoddy service provision and selective enrichment of certain group of stakeholders,” Paul-Ozieh said.

The outspoken former ACPN boss also called on the FG to, as a matter of urgency, reconstitute the board of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), which was dissolved over three years ago, saying each time boards of the council and other health professions are dissolved, there are setbacks to their operations.

She however commended the government for appointing a substantive director general for NAFDAC, in person of Prof. (Mrs) Moji Adeyeye, saying the association was confident that the agency would witness many positive developments that would reposition it for better service delivery in safeguarding the health of the nation and covering noticeable gaps in the achievement of the mandate of NAFDAC as a regulatory agency.

Also speaking at the event, Pharm. Deji Osinoiki, chairman, ACPN board of trustees, noted that the failure of the federal government to close all open drug markets in the country was responsible for the increasing rate of drug abuse in the country.

“If you look around, our society is now littered with issue of drug abuse and misuse, especially among our youth who are now fond of abusing drugs like Codeine, Tramadol and others. I have said this countless times that most of these drugs they abuse are like poisons, and when they take them, especially in excess, it causes serious health challenges to them or even lead to death. So, government should do something about this as it has become a menace to our society,” Osinoiki said.

The highpoint of the programme was the election of the new executives of the association. They include: Pharm. Olabanji Benedict Obideyi, chairman; Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, vice-chairman; Pharm. Jonah Okotie, secretary; Pharm. Charles Oyeniyi, assistant secretary; Pharm. George Agbude, treasurer; Pharm. Obiageri Ethel Ikwu, financial secretary; Pharm. Mosunmola Dosunmu, public relations officer; and Pharm. Paul Owolabi, editor-in-chief.

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