The Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) has held a four-day meeting to review and validate the basic standards for health facilities in the State.
The event, held at the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Alausa, Ikeja, was aimed at setting the basic standards for the registration and regulation of public and private health facilities to ensure the best performance and maximum benefits to those accessing care in Lagos.
In her welcome address, the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr. Abiola Idowu, disclosed that the standards would serve as a benchmark to measure the services provided by health facilities and a framework for existing facilities to review and improve their service provision.
“In order to maintain the safety and quality of service to patients and provide an environment conducive for staff, these standards serve as a benchmark against which health services can be measured, and a framework for existing facilities to review and improve their service provision”, she said.
Dr. Idowu recalled that the Agency was established by the Health Sector Reform Law (HSRL) of 2006 with the mandate to regulate and improve the quality of healthcare delivery in the State by setting the minimum standards, accrediting, inspecting, licensing and registering as well as evaluating health facility performance through monitoring visits and coordinating the collection and dissemination of data on performance indicators.
She explained that stakeholders at the four-day session reviewed and validated the draft standards for four categories of health facilities including Medical Laboratories, Dental Facilities, Diagnostic and Multispecialty Diagnostic Centres, stressing that each of the draft standards has several sections including Physical/Work Environment, Work Sections, Equipment and Equipment Maintenance, Guidelines, Infection Control and Medical Waste Management, Staff Complement, Record Keeping and Advertising.
Her words: “The standards are considered to be achievable for registration and are presented as ideal standards to which all health facilities and practitioners should aspire as part of their professional responsibility to both patients and staff, consistently maintaining effective and safe care”.
The Executive Secretary further stated that in addition to meeting the standards described above, allprivate health facilities in the State must possess Certificates of Incorporation issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The Operating Officer in charge must be a full-time practitioner with at least five years post-qualification experience and must also have a valid licence from the relevant regulatory body.
In her remarks, the Chairman, HEFAMAA Board, Dr. Yemisi Solanke-Koya, stated that the validated standards will be used by the Agency for the purposes of registration, inspection and monitoring of all health facilities in the State.
Solanke-Koya, who was represented by a Board member, Mr. Abiodun Hamzat, advised owners and operators of the facilities to adhere strictly to the standards to ensure quality delivery of healthcare services to the people.
One of the participants and Chairman, Association of Radiographers of Nigeria Lagos State Branch, Mrs. Opeoluwa Oduwole, commended the Agency for deeming it fit to engage stakeholders in the review and validation exercise, noting that the standards will reduce quackery in the system and further strengthen the relationship between the Agency and professional associations in the State’s health sector.
Present at the sessions were the project sponsor, the Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH) component of the Global Fund Grant in the Lagos State Ministry of Health; Technical Partners, Pharm Access Foundation and Health Systems Consult Limited as well as other stakeholders including development partners, professional regulatory bodies and associations.