Corporate 24, Cimas feud ends

HARARE - Cimas Medical Aid Society and Corporate 24 Hospital Group (Corporate 24) have buried the hatchet following a 10-month long feud between the two institutions following the intervention of the ministry of Health.

Corporate 24 officials yesterday confirmed that the two entities had settled their differences setting the stage for a cordial working relationship that will see Cimas members now accessing medical care at the hospital.

Deputy Health minister Aldrin Musiiwa intervened in the matter and mediated between the two feuding institutions.
The wrangle started in June last year after Cimas suspended Corporate 24 on its direct payment facility.

But Corporate 24 yesterday announced that the dispute had been resolved;

“The suspension meant that all Cimas members who wanted services from Corporate 24 were now expected to pay cash up-front and then get reimbursed at a later stage by Cimas,” a statement from Corporate 24 reads.

Corporate 24 is an emerging giant in heath service provision offering various services, including 24-hour emergency and support services.

The group has just completed a “state-of-the-art” private hospital in Bulawayo that will provide maternity services among a wide range of other provisions.

Following the breakdown of its relationship with Cimas, Corporate 24 made efforts to resolve the matter, which was later reported to the health regulator in July last year, with both parties threatening to sue each other.

The relationship was further made sour after Cimas reportedly accused Corporate 24 of making fraudulent claims, an aspect the health institution denied.

The institution accused Cimas of discouraging its members from visiting Corporate 24 for medical attention.

“During this embargo, Cimas members could not afford to pay upfront for the services at Corporate 24 and had to seek other service providers.

“Corporate 24 commands a huge clientele from the Cimas membership which constitutes up to 40 percent of their total clientele. The numbers of Cimas members seen by Corporate 24 during this impasse nose-dived due to the cash up-front resolution,” Corporate 24 said in  a statement.

The institution said it suffered an immense loss, which ran into several millions of dollars.

“Whilst this might not be the last case we will see, it is important to take note of the fact that the health services industry is a regulated industry.

“This means that the nature of relationships between medical aid societies and service providers is governed by the law to protect members who pay their hard-earned money every month. It is baffling to punish members twice by asking them to pay cash up-front and seek reimbursement later yet they would have already contributed,” Corporate 24 said.

Corporate 24 director, Mike Joka thanked deputy minister Musiiwa for intervening in the impasse.

“Our business is to build healthcare facilities and offer international standard services in an ecosystem where we co-exist mutually with medical aids and their membershi . . . we look forward to improved relationships with Cimas going forward,” he said.

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