Lagos state to sanction 322 community pharmacies on poor service delivery to outpatients

The Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) has issued a warning to the 322 Community Pharmacies operating under the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS), emphasising the urgent need for enhanced service delivery to ILERA EKO outpatients, warning of potential sanctions for non-compliance.

Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, the Permanent Secretary of LASHMA, addressing reporters in Alausa, Ikeja, expressed concern over reports received by the Agency regarding the alleged neglect of ILERA EKO out-patients by some Community Pharmacies.

Such negligence, Dr. Zamba lamented, has resulted in undue hardship for enrollees, forcing them to shuttle between pharmacies in search of prescribed medications.

What she said

“This unsettling trend has compelled certain out-patient enrollees, unable to secure services from designated Community Pharmacies, to bear the financial burden by paying out-of-pocket for their medications,” Dr. Zamba stated, reiterating LASHMA’s unwavering commitment to the well-being and satisfaction of its enrollees.

“LASHMA as an Agency, is committed to the well-being and satisfaction of its Enrollees, therefore, the Agency would not fold its arms and allow this unwelcome development to continue unabated”.

Dr. Zamba reminded Community Pharmacies of their obligation to stock all drugs listed on the LASHMA Drug List, emphasising the Agency’s preference for enrollees to obtain their medications from a single pharmacy, thus mitigating the inconvenience of multiple pharmacy visits.

  • Expressing empathy for enrollees subjected to the ordeal of visiting multiple pharmacies, Dr. Zamba acknowledged the prevailing economic challenges, including rising costs of drugs and transportation, further exacerbating the plight of enrollees.

“LASHMA regrets any inconvenience caused by the new initiative especially in this economic hardship where the cost of everything including drugs and transportation, is expensive”.

  • While reaffirming hospitals as the primary point of contact for enrollees seeking consultation, laboratory investigations, and medications, Dr. Zamba advised enrollees to select Community Pharmacies conveniently located near their residences, workplaces, or healthcare facilities.
  • In response to any grievances, Dr. Zamba urged enrollees to utilise LASHMA’s dedicated customer service channels, including the 24/7 hotline 0800-ASKLASHMA (0800-275527462), or via WhatsApp messages.

The Permanent Secretary reassured ILERA EKO enrollees of LASHMA’s efforts to address teething challenges associated with the implementation of the new initiative, urging patience and cooperation from all stakeholders.

What you should know

The Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) was established as part of the Lagos State government’s efforts to address healthcare challenges and improve healthcare delivery within the state.

  • With the population growth and urbanisation experienced in Lagos, there is an increasing demand for healthcare services, coupled with challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, limited access to healthcare facilities, and rising healthcare costs.
  • In response to these challenges, the Lagos State government likely initiated the establishment of LASHMA to oversee the implementation of various healthcare programs and schemes aimed at improving access to quality healthcare services for residents.
  • These initiatives include the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS), which seeks to provide affordable and comprehensive healthcare coverage to residents, particularly the vulnerable and underserved populations.

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