Govt determined to resolve PSMAS challenges
Harare (New Ziana) -The government is prioritising quick resolution of challenges affecting health insurer Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), with a forensic audit underway set to provide direction on measures to be taken to restore normalcy, a senior government official has said.
Vice President and Health and Child Care Minister Constantino Chiwenga said as part of efforts to steer the entity out of trouble, an interim board was being put in place at PSMAS, which caters for the majority of government workers.
“I believe as I am speaking, this august House should be aware that things were not in order at PSMAS. We were not going to allow corruption to continue, so the PSMAS board was dissolved. As I am speaking, we are enacting an interim board.
“I know that this has brought challenges to civil servants and other members of PSMAS but we are working on resolving that issue. Right now, there is a forensic audit that is being carried out and this issue is being investigated fully by the regulatory authority,” he told Parliament.
“We cannot continue until we are certain of what transpired, so we must allow those who are investigating time to investigate.”
Also, VP Chiwenga said the government had availed funding to PSMAS to shore up medicine stocks, and re-assured that no PSMI hospital would be closed.
PSMAS, through PSMI, runs hospitals including West End in Harare and Claybank in Gweru, but these have been operating at below capacity due to salary delays and lack of medication and sundries.
“We intervened and said that medication should be availed to PSMAS hospitals so that they continue to function. We held discussions with the PSMAS leadership on the medication needed. There is no hospital that is going to be closed,” he said.
“Regarding timelines, we want to expedite the opening of hospitals. I believe all of us want to have solutions as soon as possible so that we do not inconvenience pregnant women (and other patients). We are going to expedite that.”
Vice President Chiwenga said the government would continue honouring its responsibilities towards PSMAS, including by paying 80 percent of subscriptions for its workers.
But he said the government was disheartened by the way PSMAS was being run.
“Our workers were not getting the service that they were supposed to get and that is why we are interested. We had given them their independence that they do their own things but they have not run the things properly. Eighty percent comes from the tax payers’ money, it must be accounted for,” he said.
“The government has a responsibility because the government is a shareholder.”