Troubled PSMI clinics close down despite VP Chiwenga’s assurances
Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS)’s investment arm, Premier Services Medical Investments (Pvt) Ltd (PSMI) has closed down its clinics following mass job action by workers across the country.
This is despite the fact that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Minister of Health two months ago assured the nation that things would be better at the public workers’ hospitals as he promised government funding and curtailing of corruption.
He went on to dissolve the embattled PSMAS board citing massive corruption.
But workers at the clinics started 2023 year by registering their incapacitation.
This means West End in Harare, Shashi in Bindura and Clay Bank Clinic in Gweru among 150 other health care facilities including pharmacies, radiology, optometry, dental which mainly benefited civil servants on PSMAS cover have been closed.
PSMI has 153 clinics across the country and have been closed after workers downed tools citing incapacitation.
Addressing Parliament in November last year, Chiwenga stated that the situation was being resolved adding that the PSMAS board had already been dissolved over corruption. He added that an interim board was being enacted to allow the institution to operate.
The former Army General cited the forensic audit taking place at the medical insurance company as one of the steps towards restoring normalcy.
“I believe as I am speaking, this august House should be aware that things were not in order at PSMAS. We were not going to allow corruption to continue, so the PSMAS board was dissolved. As I am speaking, we are enacting an interim board.
“I know that this has brought challenges to civil servants and other members of PSMAS but we are working on resolving that issue. Right now there is a forensic audit that is being carried out and this issue is being investigated fully by the regulatory authority,” Chiwenga said.
The medical society was taken over by the Ministry of Health in July 2022 after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) was canceled on June 30.
The AGM was postponed indefinitely after the government announced that an external forensic audit was required first to determine the medical society’s poor performance.
In September this year, four PSMI bosses, medical services chief executive officer Farai Muchena, managing director Tafadzwa Gutu, Victor Chaipa, Cosmas Mukwesha and Shingai Mabuto were arrested over allegations of theft, fraud and forgery involving millions of dollars.