Source: Health Funders cry foul | The Herald September 12, 2017
Roselyne Sachiti in Victoria Falls
The proposed annual registration of medical aid service providers is a threat to continuity of business and confidence as it creates uncertainty and promotes looting by members, Association of Health Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) chief executive Ms Shylet Sanyanga has said. Addressing delegates attending the Annual AHFoZ Stakeholders Conference in Victoria Falls last Friday, Ms Sanyanga said the proposed annual licensing requirement in the Medical Aid Societies Bill should be reviewed.
“Uncertainty created by annual licensing inhibits business continuity and investment by medical aid societies,” she said.
“Funders’ approach may be restricted to short-term goals both in financial and health terms.
“Funders may focus on acute care rather than chronic care in their benefit design. Because of uncertainty, members may decide they would be better off using up as much of the benefits as they can before the end of year.”
Ms Sanyanga cited South Africa, where medical aid schemes did not renew licences annually, but paid levies to the regulator.
“There is need to level the playing field so that local and international entrepreneurs are encouraged to invest, in line with Zim-Asset,” she said.
“The final draft should eliminate retrogressive provisions.”
Ms Sanyanga said the Bill should not only explore constructive ways of building confidence in the industry, but provide mechanisms to protect medical aid societies from premature licence cancellation or de-registration.
“There is need to avoid criminalising all compliance issues, but have constructive remedies,” she said.
“The regulatory authority should oversee and not superintend or mediate on tariff disputes. It should provide a guideline for funders and providers to negotiate for competitive prices within the price reference range for competition in pricing, and to encourage better service delivery,” she said.