Health insurers have expressed surprise at an abrupt decision by the Zimbabwe Medical Association directing its members not to accept medical aid cards and urging them to demand cash upfront as from July 1, saying it was never consulted.
In a statement, the Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) said the move was disturbing.
“The media announcement by the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZiMA) that healthcare service providers will turn down medical aid members with effect from 1 July, 2016, came as a surprise to the Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe.
“This is because AHFoZ has not received any formal communication concerning this decision by providers, considering that AHFoZ and ZiMA usually liaise through the National Tariff Liaison Committee where such issues would have been raised,” said AHFoZ.
“AHFoZ has never formally received the specific evidence based on complaints pertaining to the debtors. It is impossible to effectively deal with generalised complaints, hence the need for specific detail.”
It said efforts were underway to engage ZiMA over the issue and come up with a workable solution. ZiMA claims it is owed over $200 million by the health insurers.
The doctors are also unhappy that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) still demanded tax payments for money which they have not received from medical aid societies. This has forced them borrow to pay the tax obligations.
Deputy Health and Child Care Minister Aldrin Musiiwa is on record saying Government will not allow patients to be disadvantaged by paying cash upfront to receive medical attention.
“We will not allow that to happen because it will disadvantage patients yet they have already paid. We are chasing medical aid societies to pay up,” he said. herald