via PSMAS saga: Civil servants cry foul | The Herald January 25, 2014 by Paidamoyo Chipunza
Civil servants, who form the bulk of subscribers to the Premier Service Medical Aid Society, have urged authorities to include their representatives in its board to ensure effective use of their monthly subscriptions. This comes in the wake of assorted challenges facing members trying to access medical services yet contributions are deducted every month from their meagre salaries.
Public Service Association president Mrs Cecilia Alexandra said PSMAS was established by civil servants for civil servants and there was no reason why they should not be represented in the board.
“We are the ones whose salaries are deducted and we need to manage our own funds. We have made representations to PSMAS and Government, but the door has always been shut for us,” she said.
Mrs Alexander said PSA was disappointed by the current board’s failure to manage funds at the heavily indebted society culminating in the denial of services to members at almost all health institutions, save for PSMAS-owned institutions.
“We are extremely disappointed by this big let down and we are going to take this up with the authorities because members cannot continue to suffer while a few individuals fatten their pockets with other employee’s sweat,” she said.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive Mr Sifiso Ndlovu concurred with Mrs Alexandra that worker’s unions were never given space in the board, let alone participation in the selection process.
“There is some sort of manipulation in the process because we see an exclusion of people who are directly affected by any decisions by the board,” Mr Ndlovu said.
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Manuel Nyawo said there was urgent need to restructure the board to oversee operation of management at PSMAS.
“We want the current board dissolved like yesterday,” he said.
He said their members were facing a lot of challenges in seeking medical attention as they are turned away from one place to another.
“No service provider accepts PSMAS cards because of its debts with these providers. Members are treated at selected institutions where service is slow,” said Mr Nyawo.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Mr Raymond Majongwe challenged Government to bring normalcy at the society as a matter of urgency.
“We are saying to Government the health of these teachers comes first and once it is compromised it has a negative bearing on their performance hence the need to move with speed and normalise the situation,” he said.
PSMAS was established in October 1930 after a special committee was appointed by the PSA to start operations for a society.