Four medical aid societies face collapse

Dr Chimedza

Dr Chimedza

Paidamoyo Chipunza and Susan Nyabunze
Four medical aid societies face collapse as Government ordered them to pay the gazetted medical tariffs backdated to May.
Speaking at a graduation and award giving ceremony of health workers at the Avenues Clinic in Harare recently, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr Paul Chimedza said out of 23 registered medical aid societies only Cimas, First Mutual Life, Masca and Sovereign Health had failed to comply with Government’s new tariffs.

“We are concerned about a few medical aid societies that are not following this tariff, threatening the viability of hospitals, threatening the viability of private practitioners, of the health care industry as a whole, including the laboratories and all other entities that we have put the tariffs for,” he said.

Dr Chimedza said the Private Hospitals Association formally put its complaint against the societies last week, hence Government’s decision to act on the four errant health funders.

He said Government had not been acting on errant societies because no service provider had lodged a formal complaint with Government — which was the regulating body for medical aid societies.

“Up to now there was no proper formal complaint that was put to the Ministry, but we have since received a formal complaint from PHA last week and we are going to act,” Dr Chimedza said.

He said Government had since written to all societies warning those that were not paying up may not have their licences renewed.

He said one of the pre-requisites for licensing medical aid societies was their ability to pay a prevailing medical fee.

Dr Chimedza warned the four societies that unless they paid up their dues, they were not going to be licensed next month during renewal period.

Medical aid societies are licensed to operate every year by Government.

“Failure to pay a prevailing fee means you cannot be licensed because you are not meeting your obligations. So to those four medical aid societies please take heed and pay, backdated to the date that we gazetted the tariffs,” said Dr Chimedza.

Dr Chimedza bemoaned bad governance by some health funders, which he said awarded management ridiculous salaries at the expense of service delivery.

Some private hospitals are already charging shortfalls and co-payments to members on the said medical aid societies.

Earlier, Avenues Clinic board of directors chairman Mr Pearson Chitando, had urged Government to deal with non-compliance of health funders to the gazetted tariffs as a matter of urgency.

“We call upon the Government to intervene urgently and solve the impasse that is now threatening the provision of quality health care in the country,” said Mr Chitando.

Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Mrs Shylet Sanyanga, could not be drawn into commenting on the latest development while the affected medical aid societies referred The Herald to AHFoZ.

“I have no comment,” she said in response to e-mailed questions yesterday.

In May this year, Government gazetted US$35 as consultation fee for general practitioners up from US$20, while specialist services were increased to an average of US$120 up from US$80. By law, medical aid societies and service providers were supposed to agree on a common tariff. Their failure to come up with this common tariff resulted in Government’s intervention as the regulator.

However, these new tariffs have been blasted by many as unsustainable in a deflationary economic environment.

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  • ma headline enyu ka

    Lets not kid ourselves. Even if CIMAS pays they will never collapse! Lets get the headlines correct and not try to sensationalise things.

    • mazorodze

      stop day dreaming dude..! These institutions collapsed long time ago..! There is simply no healthcare in *** dude..! Thats why the old, one “eyed” goblin/donkey flies to singapore all the time..!

  • Boss

    Ministers please declare your interests in this issue. What is the justification for a 75% increase in tariffs. Are you not the same Govt preventing everyone else from increasing tariffs eg. Local autorities etc

  • chama

    Xabba akati handinga zvigone zvemari yakawanda inodiwa nan chiremba vemuno ndobva ati bruuruururu

    zvake kunorapwa ku India where its affordable kwete zvana Chimedza vanodhurisa kurapwa sevari kurapa zvemhando isiri yepano pasi

    • George

      What do you mean by affordable in India? There is no way she was going to spend $20000 locally. And the costs in India will likely go beyond the 20000 we heard publicised in the media

  • tawanda

    Cancel psmas and cimas licences and leave other insurers operating. First mutual is the best. Platinum class chaiyo. They pay extremely timeously although using old tariffs.

  • Sadombo

    The must close, I dont care, those organisations are crooks

  • Hacha Ndizvo (Dr)

    How many surgeries does Dr Chimedza own? Where does his interests lie? Is this not the very reason why Smith prohibited civil servants from owning businesses – my father was a community development officer and allocated himself a shop stand at every shopping centre in the wards he was responsible for. During the Smith era he had actually been jailed for owning a shop.

  • truzimbo

    If most doctos “don’t care what tarrifs they are paid”, so which private medical practitioners is Dr Chimedza referring to? ?