PSMAS members with chronic ailments will with immediate effect pay not more than 10% of the total cost of prescribed medication following a temporary arrangement made by the society to cushion them against high shortfalls.
By Michael Gwarisa
Chronic diseases include arthritis, asthma, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and some viral diseases such as hepatitis C and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Speaking to HealthTimes, PSMAS public relations manager Mr Arthur Choga said the new arrangement would go a long way in guarding members from the astronomical costs of drugs and health services.
The Premier Service Medical Aid Society has noted with concern the unprecedented rising cost of medical care in the country. The costs have been driven by, among other things, service provider charges have gone up by between 100% and 500% over the past six months, some service providers are demanding payments in US dollars and forex costs with the rising interbank rate driving up the cost of drugs, as the majority of them are imported.
“With immediate effect, the Society is reducing shortfalls on key drugs to an average of 10%, thus allowing members to access these drugs. The drugs covered under this initiative are those for chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions. This arrangement only applies to selected pharmacies which we have reached agreement with,” said Mr Choga.
He added that the 10% shortfall payment is meant to ensure the viability, affordability and sustainability of the Fund in the face of rising costs of bringing medication into the country.
“We believe that this intervention will help you, our, valued members, to continue to get value from your membership. We therefore urge you to support this initiative.
“Please take note that this intervention is in the short term. We believe that as we get more support in corrective adjustment of prices and subscriptions, we will be able to recover the attendant costs. Needless to say the Society has not adjusted its subscriptions since 2013, leading to the obvious wiping out of reserves due to high costs of medical care.”
Meanwhile, PSMAS says it remains committed to delivering the most affordable outcome-based access to quality healthcare and will continue to leverage on its stakeholder relations as well as the strengths it has built in its 89 years of existence, to get the best health care service for its members.