Govt bails out PSMI and PSMAS

Government has come to the rescue of the embattled Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI) alongside Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS with a ZWL$4 billion package meant to resurrect the companies’ operations.

By Kudakwashe Pembere
The money was extended to the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) which will apportion some of the money to PSMI whose facilities are closing due to incapacitation of workers.
In a statement, Public Service Commission Secretary Dr Rosemary Tsitsi Choruma said the money will also be used to settle the four-month salary backlog of PSMI staff.
“ Government wishes to inform all stakeholders of a bail-out package which it extended yesterday (Tuesday) to Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) to the tune of ZWL$ 4, 258, 518.459.18.
“The bail-out package is intended to resuscitate operations at the society and support PSMI, some of whose medical facilities had closed in recent weeks.
“The injection of funds will enable the restoration of operations at the embattled medical insurance group through, among other support, the clearance of salary arrears for PSMI staff,” she said.
She added that the package is meant this development will see PSMI facilities reopened.
“Also contained in the bail-out package is support towards the clearing of third-party arrears, which had suffocated operations at the medical aid society.
“This is a clear demonstration of Government’s commitment to the provision of access to health care for public servants, who make up 90 percent of PSMAS clients.
“This development is expected to enable the re-opening of PSMI health care facilities across the country and restore operational viability.
“Civil servants who subscribe to PSMAS are expected to be able to access healthcare services from the society’s clinics timeously,” said Dr Choruma.
She said Government was giving PSMAS close to ZW$1 billion monthly and US$1,1 million for the purchase of medicines.
This latest injection of funds to PSMAS follows prior support by Government to the tune of ZWL 999 million monthly – 60% of which had been intended for liquidation of financial obligations to creditors, PSMI included; while 40% had been for channelling towards PSMAS operations. Furthermore, Government provided USD USD1,100,000.00 towards the purchase of drugs,” said Dr Choruma.
Dr Choruma said a forensic audit of both PSMI and PSMI is ongoing which when completed will help deal with the governance issues.
“An ongoing forensic audit at both PSMAS and PSMI is still in progress. When finalised, forensic audit findings will inform how further governance matters will be dealt with,” she added.
With this money coming into appease the aggrieved employees, a week or so ago, according to a PSMI source, the company received another ZW$116 million from PSMAS as cushion allowance which was disbursed appropriately. The employee said, they had hoped that since ZW$130 million which came recently was more, it would be distributed via the normal channels. However, they were shocked to learn a select few got bonuses.
“The money usually handled by those responsible for the payroll was however handled by the Accounts. This means they evaded some processes in the system. Further, the criteria used saw others getting their bonuses.
“How can one get bonus yet others have gone for four months without pay and incapacitated. As I said earlier, we had a consensus that no one would be prioritised over another but this bonus issue is proving otherwise,” added the employee.

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