The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
GOVERNMENT has disbursed over $3,7 billion to Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) since January to guarantee the parastatal’s long-term viability and ensure medical insurance for civil servants.
With respect to foreign currency support, Government is assessing an additional US$1 million funding request by PSMAS which will soon be released to enhance the scheme’s ability to provide healthcare and maintain credibility with service providers.
Over the last few months, the company has been at loggerheads with its employees who have been complaining over a host of welfare concerns.
In a statement, Public Service Commission Secretary, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said the Government has been religiously honouring its pledge to financially support PSMAS, contrary to what some labour unions are saying.
Disbursements made to PSMAS amount to $3,790,919,745 from January to May this year, while the pay-out for June is expected this week.
“Given the importance of healthcare service as a non-monetary benefit to civil servants, Government’s timely interventions included financial support in the form of both local ZWL currency and USD for purposes of liquidating third- party creditors and purchase of medical drugs,” he said.
According to Ambassador Wutawunashe Government agreed with PSMAS that 60 percent of its financial support would go towards “liquidating third-party creditors, PSMI (Premier Services Medical Investment (Pvt) Ltd) included; while 40 percent would be channelled towards PSMAS operations,” he said.
Owing to Government’s intervention, Ambassador Wutawunashe said medical aid cards from PSMAS will be accepted without extra charges.
“Through the liquidation of third party creditors and Government’s continuous engagement with PSMAS, once again, the PSMAS card will be accepted in the market and co-payment requirements scrapped off.”
Ambassador Wutawunashe said the Government will continue to support the medical insurance company while they await results of a forensic audit to ascertain if the company was abusing funds by engaging in non-core businesses.
“In the meantime, Government appreciates the decision by the Regulator to institute a forensic audit at PSMAS which is expected to generate recommendations on how to deepen and expand appropriate governance processes and effective financial management systems in support of providing efficient, effective and equitable medical services to its workers.”
PSMAS has since indicated that it is progressing well in liquidating its third- party creditors.
The company is the largest private healthcare service provider in Zimbabwe, catering for the majority of Government employees who are members of the scheme through its hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and laboratories.
PSMAS was founded by civil servants to provide medical cover to members at a reasonable cost.
Government contributes 80 percent of premiums, while members pay 20 percent.