Ministers must stay out of PSMAS

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HEALTH insurer, Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), should move fast to defuse the strike action by its employees demanding salary going back five months to avert a health crisis.

We believe the fights between the Jeremiah Bvirindi-led PSMAS board and Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa and Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira over the reinstatement of fired managing director Henry Mandishona must be set aside to avert loss of lives across the country.

PSMAS

It is regrettable that the employees had to resort to an industrial action for government to release about $10 million towards retiring its debt with the health insurer. PSMAS is owed in excess of $44 million by government and other debtors.

We can only hope that the late payment of government subscriptions to PSMAS was not a result of meddling by the two Cabinet ministers.

One wonders why the ministers would continue to poke their noses into PSMAS, which is entirely a members’ organisation. Why would government ministers want to make a decision on behalf of the majority owners of the health insurer? For whose benefit is their action? Instead of Parirenyatwa fighting the PSMAS board, he should return the $100 000 advance “capitation” payment that was reportedly unprocedurally made to him last year.

Now that PSMAS has confirmed the firing of Mandishona, our hope is that Parirenyatwa and Mupfumira will allow the health insurer to work tirelessly towards health delivery on a countrywide scale.

If it is true that Mandishona mismanaged the organisation, abused PSMAS funds, made unprocedural appointments and was allegedly involved in corruption during his four-month stint at the helm, we do not see why he should not be fired. Parirenyatwa and Mupfumira also do not have a valid reason to defend the man at the expense of the thousands of PSMAS members.

No doubt the fights worsened the strike as employees were not certain on who was in charge and when their salaries would come.
PSMAS members have suffered during the work stoppage as they cannot access health services. It is now time to work together.

The ministers must stay out of PSMAS operations.