via Shamed minister returns $100k PSMAS ‘loot’. 19/12/2015
HEALTH minister David Parirenyatwa has bowed to pressure and returned the $100,000 he was paid by public health insurer PSMAS when he was due just $23,000.
The payment was confirmed by presidential spokesman George Charamba, who also attracted criticism after it was reported that he earned more than $100,000 as a board member of the financially crippled company.
“He has paid the money in full. That was the expectation of the Government for him to pay and we are happy he has fulfilled that expectation,” Charamba told state media.
Revelations of the additional $77,000 paid to the health minister sparked widespread outrage despite his claim that the arrangement was standard sector practice.
Parirenyatwa is a medical doctor and the cash was paid to his private practice in 2014 at a time PSMAS, then reeling under debts of more than $100 million, was failing to pay service providers resulting in members failing to get treatment.
Curiously too, the payment was facilitated after Parirenyatwa dispatched senior health ministry official, Henry Mandishona, to run the crippled firm.
Parirenyatwa also confirmed he had returned the money.
“In March 2014 the medical practice received a lump sum owed to it by PSMAS,” the minister was quoted as saying Sunday.
“The medical practice further negotiated for an advance from PSMAS. The medical practice and PSMAS have since reconciled their accounts.
“The advance has since been paid up in full. PSMAS now owes the medical practice.”
Despite returning the cash, the minister was however, still defiant.
“For the record, advances are standard practice by medical insurers and their medical service providers or patients,” he said.
“The Parirenyatwa Medical Practice was therefore not ‘overpaid’ by Psmas, and Dr Parirenyatwa did not ‘pocket’ money unprocedurally as some reports have claimed.
“The process was above board and agreed upon by the medical practice and PSMAS purely on a professional basis.”
He minister added: “There was no rule and no regulation, and no code or anything of the sort that was broken, violated or compromised contrary to numerous reports over the past weeks which sought to maliciously distort and misrepresent the facts and the circumstances of the in-famous advance.”