Private doctors, medical aid societies square off

Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe president Johannes Marisa

PRIVATE medical doctors have threatened to turn away patients on medical aid until they have been paid for their services.

Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president Johannes Marisa yesterday said members of his association were struggling to finance their operations as some medical societies were delaying payments or not paying at all.

“There are general delays in the reimbursement of our funds after sending claims to these medical societies. There are also some medical aid societies that don’t even pay, and you wonder how they get their operating licences when they don’t pay health covers,” he said.

“For those that pay, they would find some excuses and pay you meagre amounts that are just stipends instead of paying amounts that benefit us as well.  Very soon, we will tell the medical aid societies that we won’t accept medical aid cards if this is not corrected on time. We are now left with no option except to reject medical aid cards, and this will happen soon.

“We have been clamouring to have engagements with these medical aid societies and the arrogance shown by some of them is too much.”

Last year, a conference to discuss payments of health service providers by medical aid societies was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are, however, trying to meet soon as private medical players to talk about this and many other challenges that we are facing,” Marisa said, adding that private medical practitioners were charging co-payments in foreign currency to ensure they remained viable and sustain their operations. The Association for Healthcare Funders in Zimbabwe could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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