PSMI doctors down tools

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Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa

PREMIER Services Medical Investments (PSMI) yesterday shut its doors to the public after doctors and other medical staff went on strike over unpaid salaries, owing to the government’s failure to pay about $44 million to the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), NewsDay has learnt.

By Audrey Mutasa

PSMI, a subsidiary of PSMAS, has been struggling to pay its workers because government has not been remitting civil servants’ medical aid subscriptions.

Medical staff who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity claimed most senior staff had gone for half a year without pay.

“We have at times been given as little as $50 just to cover transport, so it has become hard to survive,” said a junior doctor, adding some were facing legal action over rent arrears.

The industrial action started yesterday, with the workers vowing to continue with the strike until they received their outstanding salaries.

To compound the situation, PSMI’S pharmacies were closed making it difficult for most government workers to access medication.

Nhamo Marandu, PSMI business and customer relations manager, said the medical insurer was “experiencing an unprecedented level of absenteeism from our practitioners”.

“Our services have indeed been affected. We have now scaled down our operations and now continue to offer essential services only from a few selected clinics. Our hospitals are now attending to inpatients and emergency cases only.

“We, however, continue to do all in our power to keep the ship afloat. We continue to engage our biggest debtor PSMAS who in turn continue to engage government. PSMAS currently owes us $44 million. Let me hasten to say that our business model remains viable and self-sustaining,” he said confirming that indeed PSMAS owes PSMI $44 million.

He, however, paid tribute to the doctors for “persevering and continuously serving over 300 000 clients every month in difficult circumstances”.

“In fact, all we immediately need is $20 million for our operations to normalise.”

Marandu said PSMI was “still assessing” the extent of the disruption in service delivery as well as engaging the practitioners to establish the formal position.

“We are equally concerned with this development and we hope that it is temporary. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our patients and we remain grateful for their unwavering support thus far,” Marandu said.

For over a year now PSMAS has been in troubled waters following the explosion of what became known as the Salarygate scandal involving its former chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube.

david-parirenyatwa-(2)

As if that was not enough, last month Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa was reported to have received $100 000 in capitation fees way beyond what he was supposed to get.

PSMAS managing director Henry Mandishona is currently on forced leave after it emerged he was found with his hands in the cash till just a few months after taking up the position.

Parirenyatwa tried to force the PSMAS board to take back Mandishona, but his efforts hit a brickwall after he was rebuffed.

Mandishona is also accused, according to insiders, of withholding payments to PSMI as the internal power struggles for control of the health insurer took a turn for the worse.

“Withholding remittances to PSMI was meant to create the kind of agitation that we are seeing now. It is true that government has also not been remitting civil servants’ contributions to PSMAS, but the parent company has also been playing a dirty hand particularly against PSMI,” sources said.

PSMAS, the parent company, had, according to documents in our possession, received a total of $66,5 million from government as of September this year and now owed some $94,6 million in unremitted contributions.

18 COMMENTS

  1. PSMI Management – Group MD is earning used 190 000 per month, FD usd 160 000.

    Parirenyatwa Usd100 000 deal was supervised and executed 2014 by PSMAS Executives led by PSMI Group MD by then to protect themselves from being chased away by the minister following their grave participation in salarygate scandal. This story is confusing news readers, the deal is reported as if was made by Mandishona yet his hands are clean on this one since he only started working for PSMAS May 2015.

    The internal fight is to avoid Mandishona to come back because he wanted to work on looters of PSMAS funds who appeared in the forensic audit, that is his fault- cleaning up corrupt people. Now PSMAS executives working together with PSMI Group MD have teamed up to attack anyone who needs sanity at PSMAS to hide the looting deals going. Thus why ministers are blackmailed, cabinet disrespected, new reported are said to be paid to report bad about Mandishona, ministers confusing readers.

    The truth shall come.

  2. Ndezvekumamirana izvi. Hativhure ma pharmacy kusvika 3 months salaries are paid then we start talking about the balance and contemplating on opening the pharmacies. Imimi the public mukanyarara inofawo kwenyu coz ndimi munourayiwa nechimedical aid ichi.

  3. Nyangwe ikachivharwa Pirimiya yambotidyisa. Dzimba nemabusiness tave nawo, saka life goes on after Premier. Recently we embarked on a countrywde tour and raked in $1600 per day allowances over 2 weeks. Cashbert taught us well kustigula

  4. PSMAS and PSMI are public organizations. For the sake of transparency they should publish their audited accounts with full disclosures. Asi tochema naJonathan Moyo who caused the departure of Cuthbert Dube. With Dube in charge this type of mess was unheard of.

  5. Saka vanofunga kuti tinodyei 5 months without salary. And Killjoy Stamps has the nerve to

    support that foolish minister on the capitation shit!!

  6. It is quite worrying and saddening to note that the so called mother company (PSMAS) has been receiving salaries in advance and have since received their bonuses whilst the so called subsidiary (PSMI) has not received salaries for 5 months .

    The directors and senior mgrs for both PSMI PSMAS have benefited a lot from this company …..

    they now own loads of properties at the expense of the other junior employees

    they have gone for 5 years without salary increment

  7. There is a lack of transparency and truth here. In fact PSMAS does not care about PSMI. how come all PSMAS workers’ salaries are paid up and they even got bonuses? There is need for urgent redress. PSMI workers deserve their salaries on time as they work very hard. Sadly their Minister is a crook who has been benefitting from the rot in the organisation. He should resign in shame.

  8. Amana fatso usadaro iwewe.Unotinzwisa hasha.maifamba muri over 25 padelegation yenyu,and you tell me you ALL got that amount of money?nemamiriro akaita kambani yedu shuwa???Was that tour even a priority???ayas………zvakangooma hazvo.

    • Minister ngawadzose change pa$100m yawakapihwa handiti yawo i$23m chete saka change inokwana CDE Minister.

  9. Why on God’s earth is a medical insurer providing services which they receive funds to insure against? Hapana kujeka.

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