THE registrar of Medical Aid Societies has since ordered a forensic audit into the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), to find out if the medical aid society is not abusing funds by engaging in non-core business, the Minister of Health and Child (MoHCC), Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said.
By Michael Gwarisa
Briefing Journalists in Harare, Dr Chiwenga said there have been “wild assertions” around PSMAS’s alleged activities outside the mandate of providing healthcare.
Government remains concerned by some wild assertions that have been made about its intentions with regard to PSMAS. As the major stakeholder, which with its employees provides over 90% of the total funding to PSMAS, Government has a duty to ensure that the core business of the society is not crowded out by other preoccupations that do not contribute to the core mandate of the society.
“Cases in point include investment in micro-finance, buying and selling of gold, extending society beyond the borders, and creating additional institutions that draw funds from the society’s core business of health care provision. This is the position of Government and not by isolated components of government,” said Dr Chiwenga.
He added that government will continue supporting PSMAS while they await the outcome of the results from the forensic audit.
“The regulator of medical aid societies has informed government and the PSMAS board that he has ordered a forensic audit of PSMAS in order to satisfy himself that the society is operating properly and keeping with its mandate.
“While we await the outcome of the audit, Government will continue to support PSMAS in order to enhance its ability to provide healthcare, maintain credibility with service providers and in the process ensure that its workers get access to healthcare services. The support will extend to PSMAS to pay its workforce and procure adequate medical drugs consistently.”
Meanwhile, Government is currently the biggest funder to PSMAS, contributing an amount to tune of US$5 Million equivalent monthly as employer contributions to PSMAS. Annually, government pays US$60 Million equivalent.
Majority of PSMAS’s members are civil servants. However, members have been experiencing challenges of late regarding accessing healthcare services as their cards are at times rejected by service providers.
“In many instances, service providers are refusing to honor the card citing non-payment of claims submitted to PSMAS. This has resulted in members being required to make payments cash upfront often in foreign currency. Where PSMAS medical aid cards are accepted, significant co-payments are also required both in respect of consultation fees and purchase of prescription drugs,” added Dr Chwenga.
PSMAS has since confirmed to government that it has accumulated a significant amount of debts with service provider.