In furtherance of many efforts of the Lagos State government to further strengthen the decentralization strategy of its Health Sector Reform, the state government today inaugurated the Health Service Commission Board with a charge on members to consolidate on the gains already made as well as rise to the seemingly insurmountable challenges comforting secondary health care system in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris who gave the charge in Lagos while inaugurating the board explained that the health sector, being one of the major priority areas of the Babatunde Fashola?s administration, has witnessed unprecedented development guided by a well-defined three-pronged health policy thrusts of free primary health care (PHC) services; provision of comprehensive secondary healthcare services; and institution of health sector reforms including the health insurance scheme and private sector participation.
Idris noted that the Reform essentially commenced mainly at the secondary health care level, the reason being due to the fact that health sector reform process appears better documented at the secondary health care level.
Said he, the then hospital management board was encouraged to positively respond to the challenge by granting limited autonomy to the various hospital units. The measures, though laudable, were unable to substantially reverse the trend which itself had its root in systemic decay arising from years of neglect and mismanagement.?
He opined that the development led government to embrace the Health Sector Reform in order to radically address the problems hence government preceded with the reform simultaneously at both the Ministry of Health and Primary Health Care levels culminating in the inauguration of the Lagos State Primary health Care Board in February this year.
According to the Commissioner, the major thrust of the reform process at the secondary health care level is decentralization and it was achieved through the devolution of certain roles and responsibilities of the then State hospitals management Board to the hospital units; and the establishment of the State Health Service Commission to replace the health management Board.
The Commissioner explained that since 2004 when the reform process took root, certain activities including the passage and the granting of assent of the Lagos State Health Sector Reform Bill; Development of management guidelines on hours of operation, emergency/ambulance services; development of health management information system; strengthened of the capacity of top management of each hospital unit; and institutionalization of the Continuing Medical Education program at the Unit and hospital levels among others had been implemented to strengthen the process at the secondary health care level.
Responding, the Chairman of the Board, Dr Mukaram Salako thanked the state government for the opportunity to serve just has he assured of working in collaboration with other team members towards ensuring resounding success of the state health delivery system. Other members of the board include Dr Bolaji Akerele, Dr Biola Oyeleye, Mrs. Kudi Kotun and Ms Doreen Ogunro