The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has said that all healthcare facilities operating within the state must have accreditation by the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) in order to prevent quackery and medical malpractice.
By hiring the services of seven franchise companies, the Lagos State Government has reorganised and expanded the monitoring activities of HEFAMAA. This will help the agency quickly expand its monitoring activities of health facilities throughout the state and raise the caliber of healthcare provided to citizens.
The commissioner, who disclosed this on Wednesday at a news briefing after meeting with representatives of the franchise companies at the state secretariat in Alausa-Ikeja, added that all medical and allied medical staff cadres in health facilities should also have appropriate registration with relevant regulatory bodies.
“It is important to also advise Traditional Medicine Practitioners, Faith-based healers, and operators of pharmaceutical outlets not to go beyond their approved scopes of service as doing so will attract appropriate sanctions by HEFAMAA.
“In addition, I must emphasize that as part of the agency’s oversight of the franchise companies, they are required to submit their assessment reports of health facilities to HEFAMAA daily. The reports will be reviewed by the agency for intervention as warranted”, he said.
The commissioner stated that out of a total of 21 organisations that applied in accordance with the state’s procurement process, the seven engaged private organisations were carefully chosen. The commissioner also stated that the franchise companies will be in charge of overseeing both the public and private health facilities in the local governments assigned to each of them under the supervision of HEFAMAA and in accordance with its protocol.
He said: “The private sector collaboration franchise model will expand HEFAMAA’s reach and effectiveness and will be implemented in two phases. The first phase, the pilot phase, is designed to test the model among a limited number of partners and health facilities, and in the second phase, the model will be fully executed, and the lessons learned in the pilot phase will be used to improve the model and scale it up.
“The engaged private organisations are: SPC Patterns Consulting, Realms Healthcare Consulting Services, IFS Healthcare, McOlivia Consulting Limited, AOI Training and Consulting Limited, Vhelar Consulting Limited and E-clat Health Care Limited.”
Abayomi assured that HEFAMAA will continue to carry out the inspection of new facilities for registration purposes and perform due diligence to identify facilities that are not accredited adding that the agency will also continue assessment of health facilities for empanelment into the Health Insurance Scheme in collaboration with the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) and involved with investigations of petitions and complaints from the public.
“At this juncture, I want to assure private health facilities that this initiative will not result in witch-hunting, nor will it lead to extortion of money from them. The goal is to ensure that quality healthcare services are delivered in the State. I encourage hospitals and other categories of health facilities to access the Health Facility Inspection Tool on the HEFAMAA website (hefamaa.lagosstate.gov.ng), do the self-assessment for their facilities prior to our visitation and upgrade their operations in the sections where they may score low marks”, he stated.
In a same vein, the chairman of HEFAMAA, Dr (Mrs) Yemisi Sholanke-Koya, stated that there have been isolated cases of quack medicine, malpractice, and poor service delivery in the health industry, to which the Lagos State Government has rapidly responded through HEFAMAA.
She went on to say that this is what caused the Governor Sanwo-Olu-led government to adopt a zero tolerance policy in order to solve the problems by making deliberate efforts to strengthen the HEFAMAA’s regulatory competence.
The Chairman said HEFAMAA set a minimum standard by inspecting, accrediting, monitoring and licensing of health facilities towards improving health services delivered in the State. She added the Agency is empowered to ensure strict compliance with the set standards by identifying noncompliance and issuing such notices for corrective measures as well as suspension or revocation of the Certificates of Registration of defaulting health facilities.
“As of January 2023, there are 3,794 known registered health facilities in Lagos State and HEFAMAA anticipates registering more as we monitor the state for facilities that deliver healthcare services. By law, the agency is required to evaluate the performance of every facility through monitoring visits at least twice a year”, She stated.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of HEFAMAA, Dr Abiola Idowu, commended the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for supporting and championing outsourcing initiative, stressing that initiative is not only laudable but will improve the quality of healthcare delivery to the residents of Lagos State.
“May I enjoin members of the public to help publicise this initiative and notify HEFAMAA of illegal operations at health facilities in the State, substandard care, or unprofessional conduct”, she said.
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