Indigenous company help fight drug shortages

Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
A Gweru-based holding company TM Group is assisting in resolving drug shortages in hospitals and pharmacies by importing drugs through its subsidiary, Prime Mutual Properties in Zambia.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe General Medical Aid Fund (ZG Medical aid) golf tournament and annual dinner for charity held in Gweru yesterday TM Group board chairman Dr Tinashe Manzungu said they were alive to the foreign currency challenges being faced by pharmacies and hospitals in acquiring medicines and have been importing essential drugs.

“On the issue of foreign currency shortage which is resulting in shortage of drugs in pharmacies and hospitals, we have since engaged the service providers and for the sake of our clients, we are fighting the shortage of drugs by through our subsidiary Prime Mutual Properties in Zambia to import the drugs,” he said.

“So when we realise revenue in Zambia we channel it towards procurement of drugs for our pharmacies and private hospitals meaning we don’t have any challenges with medication for our ZG Medical clients and our membership has grown to 35 000 in the last quarter of the year.”

He said they were also launching a TM life card that will allow its clients to access services from all its seven subsidiaries through the electronic card as it seeks to expand its service base and ensure convenience to clients.

TM Group of Companies, which is into property development, health and Information Communication Technology (ICT), micro-finance, farming and funeral services among other ventures is launching the life card that allows clients to access health care, mortgage financing, paying for building materials and other services it offers from its subsidiaries.

“Our latest innovation is the ‘TM life card’ where all our group services are offered to clients in one click or one swipe hence reducing transaction charges and besides one product will be acting as collateral for another service. With an array of services a client using one card can access all our subsidiaries and get services which will be at their convenience.”

He said the emergence of the new dispensation and the second Republic also saw the emergence of an even greater dispensation in terms of health insurance in the country.

Dr Manzungu said ZG Medical has begun tapping into the country’s vast jobless market which is usually neglected by most insurance and medical aid companies by target clients with no pay slips.

“With an estimated 80 percent of Zimbabweans unemployed, ZG Medical is diverting from focusing only on those formally employed, to the informal and low income earners. The medical aid which was the first to be registered in the province targets to increase people on health insurance to ensure more Zimbabweans have access to health care,” he said.

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