Members of Parliament yesterday demanded that President Robert Mugabe intervenes to resolve the impasse between doctors and medical aid societies, which would see insured patients paying cash for services beginning next month.
Source: Med aid societies, doctors impasse: Mugabe urged to intervene – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 17, 2016
BY VENERANDA LANGA/PHYLLIS MBANJE
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC Proportional Representation) told the National Assembly that a serious health crisis was looming unless Mugabe acted.
“As we speak, women that are supposed to give birth on the basis of medical aid cards are not going to do so,” she said.
“If someone does not think this is an urgent matter to deal with, then I do not know what is urgent because this is a matter of life and death. The fact that there is no cash in the country means that this is going to be a disaster.
“I would have thought that the moment there is such crisis, an urgent Cabinet meeting will be held to discuss the issue and there is need for the President to make a statement on the issue.”
Mover of the motion, Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) said doctors affiliated to the Zimbabwe Medical Association were in breach of Section 76 of the Constitution on the right to health and treatment.
“Non-payment of money to doctors by medical aid societies should not have anything to do with the patient. Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa must intervene and correct the position,” he said. Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna (Zanu PF), who seconded the motion, said with the high increase in road traffic accidents, Parirenyatwa must urgently make a ministerial statement before Parliament.
Buhera West MP Oliver Mandipaka (Zanu PF) said doctors should know that they cannot experiment with human life.
Meanwhile, members of the public and health stakeholders have reacted angrily to the impasse between doctors and medical aid societies.
“This is a sign of a dysfunctional health system whereby a patient, who is fully paid up, is refused service because the doctor has not been paid by the medical aid society,” Fungisayi Dube, of the Citizens Health Watch, said.
She said medical aid societies were now taking people for granted.
“Somewhere someone is misusing public funds for their own projects and are not directing them to the relevant beneficiaries who include the doctors,” she said. A Cimas member, however, said doctors were trying to hold medical aid societies to ransom using patients as bargaining chips.
“For people who claim to have the patient at heart they are surely not acting like it,” she fumed.