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Chiwenga threatens to deregister medical aid companies

Vice President Costantino Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister has warned that some medical aid societies may be deregistered if a forensic audit being carried out by the government finds them violating health protocols.

The country has been dogged by serious corruption in the health sector, especially in the medical aid sector where thousands of health seekers have failed to access services despite contributing to schemes whose savings are gobbled by corrupt undertakings.

As a result, clients are made to make core payments mostly in the hard-to-get foreign currency while others end up seeking health services outside the country.

In a speech read on his behalf at the official opening of the Zimbabwe Medical Association conference in Victoria Falls on Friday, Chiwenga said a number of regulations are being worked on, including the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill.

“The Ministry is continuing to strengthen the regulation of private health insurance and medical aid societies. We want them to stick to their mandate, that is, to ensure that the wage earner’s medical bills are fully paid and timeously.

“We have instituted forensic audit to some and we are still waiting for the audit observations and in that regard, my Ministry will not hesitate to deregister any errant medical aid society,” threatened Chiwenga.

He said there is need for health service that satisfies both providers of care, funders and members.

Chiwenga said finalizing the drafting of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Bill will go a long way in addressing some of the health challenges related to poor corporate governance in the country.

A draft roadmap for the Bill was approved by Cabinet and the Ministry has since developed a policy paper to guide the process.

“Government is determined to finalise development of a comprehensive National Health Insurance Scheme. Work will commence soon to develop the legal framework, the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill and let me assure you that this will be implemented by both the public and private health sectors,” he said.

The ZiMA 2022 conference started on Thursday and ends Saturday.

The theme for the conference is: “Beyond COVID-19 Pandemic: Expanding healthcare delivery services.”

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