AHFoZ pushes for fraud laws

HARARE - Stakeholders in the health sector are pushing for healthcare fraud laws to curtail costs that are shooting through the roof as a result of underhand dealings crippling the industry.

Zimbabwe is already in the process of enacting a Medical Aid Societies Bill to, among other things, establish an authority that would regulate health insurers and help solve disagreements between insurers and health providers.

The Bill is expected to be debated in Parliament soon.

While the Bill will go a long way in dealing with issues of great concern to the sector, industry actors still feel that they need separate laws to deal with fraud-related issues.

According to resolutions passed at the Healthcare Fraud Conference held in Harare last week, the enactment of a healthcare fraud law should be done as a matter of urgency.

The indaba was initiated by the Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ).

“We realised that we cannot fight fraud alone. Therefore we have taken the lead in bringing key stakeholders on board,” said Shylet Sanyanga, AHFoZ’s chief executive officer.

The conference was attended by representatives of medical aid societies, laboratories, pharmacists, doctors and the legal sector.

Policy planning and coordination director in the ministry of Health and Child Care Stephen Banda said some of the drivers of healthcare fraud include an uncertain or weak regulatory framework, fragility in demand for healthcare service and political interference.

Banda, who indicated that government was grappling with rising healthcare costs, said partnerships were vital in sharing best practices and improving the detection of fraud.

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