Retailers, Mobile Phone Companies Invade Medical Aid Sector

ZIMBABWE Medical Association (ZiMA) secretary-general Dr Shingi Bopoto has raised concern over the increased proliferation of retailers and businesses in the health insurance services territory saying it goes against the ethics and expectations of the sector.

By Michael Gwarisa

Speaking during a CWGH hosted Post Budget meeting in Harare, Dr Bopoto said the biggest challenge in the health sector was lack of accountability and proper regulation and as a result, business were diverting their attention to offering medical aid and health insurance services at the expense of registered players.

“If you have noticed there has been an increase in business for example mobile network operators, retailers and other players who have invade the medical aid territory.

“There should be accountability in the sector and people can not just do as they please considering they are rules and regulations and laws that payers in our sector should abide,” said Dr Bopoto.

Over the past few years a number of businesses have diversified into the health insurance sector although most deny offering medical aid services.

Clothing retail giant, Edgars Ltd is among some of the companies now offering medical aid services through its famous Edagrs Club which offers subscribers Hospital Cash back plans in the event of hospitalization. Under the Edgars Cash Back Hospital plan, an individual gets  a Cash payout of $100.00 for each day spent in hospital when admitted for more than 48 hours, a maximum payout per claim is limited of $3 000.00 per event and $6 000.00 per year among a host other services.

The Edgars Club subscriber can also add beneficiaries’ e.g children, mother, father, brother etc. The following conditions apply.

Mobile Network Operator, Telecel Zimbabwe also has its medical cover package under its Telecare service which offers funeral cover and hospital cash back of up to $25 each day one is in hospital due to an accident.

Econet Wireless through its banking division Steward Bank is also offering Health Insurance services to its clientele  and the generality of the public.

Government in 2013 licensed 29 societies to offer medical aid services which are Altfin, Alliance, VIP Healthcare, Blanket Mine, Calm Health, Christian Health, Cellmed Health, CIMAS, First Mutual, Fidelity Life, Galaxy, Generation Health, Grainmed, Harare Municipal, Healthmed, Heritage Health, Kwekwe City Council, Liberty, Medical Aid of Central Africa, Municipality of Bulawayo, Municipality of Masvingo, Northern, Premier Service, Railmed, Regency Hotel, Shelter, TN Medical, Ultracorporate and Zimpapers medical aid societies.









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