PSMAS adopts US dollar co-payment system for members – ZimEye

PSMAS adopts US dollar co-payment system for members

By a correspondent – The Premier Services Medical Investment (PSMI) on Friday last week adopted a co-payment system in which each PSMAS member is required to pay US$5 or US$1,050 ZWL before receiving treatment or services.

PSMI is the largest private healthcare service provider in the country and operates hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and laboratories.

The company serves at least 90 percent of civil servants in Zimbabwe, who are members of the Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS).

Workers are unhappy with PSMI’s adoption of the co-pay system as they believe the move is aimed at increasing management benefits.

Part of a letter to PSMAS Board Chairman Jeremiah Bvirindi from the Zimbabwe Health Professionals and Allied Workers Union on Monday reads:

This is very unfair to members, especially government employees who have always paid their monthly dues with nothing in return.

The workers are of the opinion that the money charged in co-payment is intended for nothing but to increase the pockets of the management.

But answering questions sent by e-mail from the heraldArthur Choga, director of public relations, communications and brand of Premier Service Holding Company (PSHC), defended the recent introduction of user fees. He said:

Subscriptions on the medical aid side continue to follow the official rate while costs are incurred based on parallel market rates, making it difficult for PSMI to meet obligations as they come due.

Given these pressures and the target market’s inability to afford market-linked subscriptions, PSMI therefore introduced co-payments to help meet operating expenses.

Premier Services Medical Investment (Pvt) Ltd is a division of Premier Services Holding Company.

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Elaine R. Knight