Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Auditors contracted by the interim management at Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) to conduct a forensic audit on the society’s operations have completed their task.
Interim manager Dr Gibson Mhlanga confirmed the development saying the audit firm was winding its task and would meet the December 31 deadline.
“From the look of things, they will definitely meet the December 31 deadline which they had set for themselves and we expect that a report will be ready by beginning of the year,” said Dr Mhlanga.
The auditing contract was awarded to Ernest and Young on October 18 before it commenced work on the 23rd of the same month.
“They started work on October 23 and they said they expected to be done by December 31 this year,” said Dr Mhlanga, who is also the principal director for preventive services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
The appointment of Ernst & Young followed an exposé of financial irregularities at the healthcare funder ranging from abnormal salary scales for top management to defaulting on payments to service providers.
The obscene salaries saw the society’s now sacked group chief executive officer, Dr Cuthbert Dube, earning an average of $500 000 every month.
Despite these huge salaries and benefits PSMAS failed to pay service providers resulting in its members failing to access healthcare when they needed it most.
Following the exposé, Dr Dube and the society’s board chairman Mrs Meisie Makelotso Namasasu were forced to step down. Subsequently, the whole board of directors resigned.
Government then appointed a management chaired by Dr Mhlanga to run the affairs of the society in the interim.
The interim management was mandated to look into the society’s remuneration structure, critically review its financial position, its constitution and facilitate a forensic audit among other relevant matters.
The interim management was officially appointed in June this year. By law, the management is expected to complete its task in a period not exceeding 12 months.
Since its appointment the interim management has instituted a restructuring process, reduced the society’s debts with both service providers and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, engaged with various stakeholders to restore sanity.