PARLIAMENTARIANS are worried over the custodianship of the impending National Health Insurance Scheme given the ill governance issues experienced through Premier Service Medical Aid Society and the National Social Security Association.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
During a health portfolio hearing for the Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) on Tuesday, BINGA North MP Dubeko Prince Sibanda said it was important for the organisation representing about 30 medical insurance companies to guard against corruption since they are pushing for inclusion in national health insurance consultations. With NSSA at one time being selected to handle the funds of the NHI scheme and later on to be sidelined for ill governance flaws, Hon Dubeko challenged AHFoZ to come up with recommendations to parliament.
“My fear is this that is the initial believe when nssa came and try to assist every worker to bring money. Right now what we are seeing of NSSA is big bellies of people working there, huge investments and beautiful buildings all over and nothing for the person that is contributing to NSSA.
“How do you assure an ordinary Zimbabwean that if we are going to pull our resources together, we wont see nice buildings, big bellies of people employed within that scheme and nothing for the person that has invested that money. What assurance do we have? When you are propagating and pushing for the NHI, assure us that those resources won’t be abused in the manner that NSSA is abusing them now,” he said. “The moment you are pushing for something, our expectation is that you look at the sideways. Those loopholes. I think Zimbabweans are tired of being told to bring in money as if they are pyramids. You want to come up with a scheme where a few benefit at the expense of the majority. So come with the recommendations and receive those recommendations I think it will be easy for us as a committee of health to come up with a plan.
The committee chair Dr Ruth Labode chipped in giving the PSMAS case of fat paychecks at the expense of civil servants’ health.
“I think Honorable Sibanda’s concern are genuine. Because you as AFHoZ, you know at one time one of your members PSMAS, took money, they bought themselves big` houses, paid themselves 0 000,others 400 chakuti. They did so many things but the worker, the civil servant did not get any service. Yet that money was coming from them.
“It’s a genuine fear and I know you are not the custodian but you are part of the custodian of consultation. So these are the things that you too should be think on how you should be closing the natural Zimbabwean corruption tendency,” she said.
AHFoZ chair Mr Stanford Sisya in response said accountability structures should be strengthened to avoid corruption.
“I think when we look at issues being raised speak to the issue of governance. We need to have proper accountability structures that are there not for this sector but across the nation to say there is need for accountability.
“And people need to know that if there is corruption and there is a knock at the gate you know are coming to be picked up. I think there is need for accountability systems that work that are not selective but really looking at interests of protecting the nation,” he said.