PSMAS appoint new boss

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Cuthbert Dube

TROUBLED State health insurer, Premier Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), has appointed human capital expert and business consultant Henry Mandishona as its managing director with effect from May 1, the NewsDay has learnt.

BY Staff Reporter

Mandishona (37) takes over the helm at the insurer following the explosion of the Salary-gate scandal last year where then
PSMAS chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube was reportedly earning about half a million dollars in salary and perks from the group.

He becomes the inaugural managing director of PSMAS after the society abolished the position of group chief executive officer after Dube’s departure under a cloud last year.

Before his appointment, Mandishona was group human resources director of Public Service Medical Investments (PSMI), a subsidiary of PSMAS, a company he joined in 2006 as an assistant human resources manager before rising through the ranks.
In a memorandum to staff on Monday, PSMAS interim manager, Gibson Mhlanga said Mandishona was appointed managing director because of his “solid experience in human resources and business consultancy spanning over 15 years”.

Mhlanga said Mandishona was “instrumental in the successful implementation of PSMI’s transformation strategy, performance measurement and management system, employee and customer satisfaction surveys resulting in the creation of a performance culture in the PSMI group, among many other strategic milestones”.

PSMAS was rocked by the salary scandal after it emerged that top executives were paying themselves obscene and untaxed perks sparking outrage across the country.

Mandishona could not be reached for comment on his new appointment as he was said to be out of the country on business.
He takes over the running of PSMAS at a time the health insurer was facing serious financial challenges that has seen it failing to pay service providers and its members being turned away by medical practitioners, amid a plethora of litigation that has reportedly forced the group to demand cash upfront from its members.

Part of the challenges were being blamed on the broke government’s failure to remit civil servants contributions to PSMAS. Civil servants constitute the majority of the over 800 000-members of health insurer, which has branches across the country and the region.

Mandishona holds a Masters Degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe and a diploma in human resources management from IPMZ.

Before joining PSMI, he had worked in senior positions at Colcom Holdings, Trust Bank and was graduate management trainee at SMM Holdings.

Farai Muchena has been acting chief executive officer since Dube’s ouster and according to Mhlanga will assist Mandishona in the transition phase until such time the incoming head has his hands on the wheel.

Dube has since sued PSMAS for unfair labour practices and dismissal which he won in the Labour Court with a $3 million judgment in his favour, but the health insurer has appealed the case.

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