The Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) is set to appoint an interim manager to oversee its operations.
This comes at a time when the society is facing a number of challenges, including financial mismanagement, delayed reimbursements to medical facilities and a shortage of essential drugs.
The interim manager is expected to improve its service delivery and restoring public confidence in the organisation.
“Secretary for Health and Child Care, as the Regulator of Medical Aid Societies hereby notifies, in terms of section 26 of Statutory Instrument 330 of 2000, Medical Services (Medical Aid Societies) Regulations that a PSMAS Special General Meeting will be held on 30 November 2023,” Dr Maunganidze said in a statement at the weekend.
“The purpose of the special general meeting is to appoint an interim manager for PSMAS.”
Former PSMAS chairman, Dr Jeremiah Bvirindi, resigned in May last year after a public outcry over a series of complaints related to poor management of the society forced him to step down.
Founded in the 1930s, PSMAS was established with the intention of providing comprehensive healthcare coverage to Government employees.
Over the years, it has expanded its reach, becoming a key player in the Zimbabwean healthcare landscape.
However, recent developments have cast a shadow over the organisation’s effectiveness, raising concerns about the quality and accessibility of medical services for its members.
In 2003, PSMAS formed Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI), a subsidiary aimed at providing affordable medical services.
This initiative resulted in the establishment of over 154 medical service centers across the country, expanding access to healthcare for many.
Initially, the Government’s coverage of 80 percent of premiums for all civil servants, including retirees, under PSMAS instilled confidence in the scheme.
However, the initial optimism has gradually waned, replaced by a growing sense of frustration and dissatisfaction among members.
Medical facilities have also become increasingly reluctant to accept PSMAS medical aid due to concerns over delayed reimbursements, threatening the availability of healthcare services for PSMAS members.
The situation has been further exacerbated by the widespread closure of independently run health facilities under PSMI’s network.
This financial strain has left patients facing unexpected shortfalls on their bills, forcing them to bear the brunt of the organisation’s shortcomings. In some cases, patients are even denied adequate care due to these financial constraints.
The challenges facing PSMAS stem from a complex interplay of factors, including financial mismanagement, lack of transparency and inadequate communication with stakeholders.
These issues have eroded public trust in the organisation, casting doubt on its ability to fulfill its mandate of providing quality healthcare to its members.