Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, announced more palliative measures for vulnerable residents who might be affected by the ongoing 14-day lockdown directive of the Federal Government.
Speaking after the weekly Security Council Meeting at State House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that medical bills incurred by patients admitted into public secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities for the duration of the lockdown will be offset by the Lagos State government.
According to the Governor, the palliative measure will cover the medical expenses of pregnant women and other categories of patients in emergency, casualty cases, laboratory testing and surgeries as well as the cost of any medication bought at the State-owned secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities during the period of lockdown.
Sanwo-Olu asserted that the decision was taken to ameliorate the difficulty encountered by patients whose regular business has been affected by the restriction order imposed to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
While noting that measures have been put in place to prevent compromise of the scheme, Governor Sanwo-Olu envisaged that the palliative measures will impact positively on beneficiaries of the initiative across public health institutions in Lagos State.
“The first category are patients in emergency, casualty cases, including registration, laboratory tests, surgeries, and drugs. Those in the second category are maternity cases. We will bear the full cost of pregnant women on normal delivery and Cesarean sections in our hospital in this period of lock down,” he stated.
“What this new scheme means is that, at this time, patients with the listed medical conditions will need not pay to access treatment and care in all our 27 General Hospitals across the State,” Sanwo-Olu explained.
He revealed that review of the process for distribution of the food stimulus package is ongoing, saying that feedback indicated that the initiative is impacting positively on the lives of beneficiaries despite initial hiccups.
Appealing to residents for more patience, Sanwo-Olu said the restriction order has facilitated quicker movement by officials of the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in tracing contacts of patients already being treated at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba.
“The restrictions have started paying off; the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has told us that they have been able to take advantage of the absence of traffic on our roads to make appreciable progress in their contact tracing,” the Governor said.
He confirmed that all patients in the State’s isolation centres are doing well and recovering fast, disclosing that another patient was discharged on Saturday afternoon, bringing the total number discharged to 24.
Sanwo-Olu reiterated his government’s commitment to security of lives and property, warning hoodlums to desist from taking advantage of the restriction order to disturb the peace as the security agencies have been instructed to ensure 24-hour security surveillance across the State.