Psmi strike continues

HARARE - Scores of patients were yesterday turned away from Premier Service Medical Investments (Psmi) health facilities, as pressure mounts on government to settle a debt of $44 million it owes the service provider.

Doctors who continued their strike for a second day running, did not even pitch up for work at most of the Psmi facilities yesterday.

A Daily News crew went around Psmi facilities around Harare yesterday and witnessed sick people being turned away because there were no doctors to attend to them due to government failure to remit the money they deduct from civil servants.

Some of the workers revealed that they had gone for more than six months without salaries.

Psmi is an investment arm of  Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) and runs clinics and hospitals around the country. Since January, government has not remitted $44 million collected from civil servants, who make the bulk of the clients at the country’s biggest medical insurer.

Further, government failed to remit $94,6 million it collected from civil servants, which means Treasury owes Psmas more than $138 million.

Most of the cash was meant for paying service providers and salaries for the 2 000 workers at Psmi.

Government and Psmas reached an agreement recently where Treasury would pay at least $10 million a month, which it has failed to do, resulting in workers who include doctors, nurses and administration staff failing to get their salaries on time.

A strike of such magnitude could have devastating effects on the health delivery system given that Psmas has nearly ?800 000 members.

People who get treatment through Psmas could be well over 2 million if dependents are included.

In a statement yesterday, Psmi apologised for the inconveniences caused to the public.

Reads part of the statement: “Premier Service Medical Investments (Pvt) Ltd (PSMI) would like to inform its valued stakeholders that the Group is currently experiencing some service disruptions in some of its units as a result of a staff industrial action which started yesterday, 23 November 2015.

“Regrettably, we have scaled down our operations and we now only offer essential services.

“We, however, continue to do all in our power to restore normal service. Psmi apologises to its patients for the inconvenience being caused and would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all its stakeholders for their unwavering support during these trying times.

“We are quite cognisant of the effects of the service disruptions and are frantically in communication with all concerned to make sure the situation normalises in the shortest possible time.”

Comments (2)

Uncle K has refused to be silenced and he continued to speak out against the hate, the torture, the abuse and whats next. Caught live on video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU2n-tXPueg

Richby - 25 November 2015

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