via Dialogue only way to end rift: Minister | The Herald August 28, 2014 by Paidamoyo Chipunza
Dialogue is the only way to end the impasse between medical aid societies and medical doctors, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said.
In an interview on the sidelines of his tour of Murehwa District Hospital on Tuesday, Dr Parirenyatwa said Government was looking forward to dialogue and a compromise for the benefit of patients.
“The way forward is to dialogue for the benefit of the patient. I am looking forward to that dialogue where we can talk with the medical insurers, doctors and the consumers,” said Dr Parirenyatwa said.
He said Government did not want patients to make co-payments, hence the need for dialogue with both insurers and service providers.
“We need to sit down and really say what compromises can be made so that the patient is not prejudiced. We do not want our patients to pay co-payments just because you want to satisfy a certain group of people,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa’s remarks come in the wake of calls by service providers to take legal action against the insurers should they fail to reimburse them at the new tariffs gazetted by Government.
Doctors, through their association, have since written to the Association of Healthcare Funders as well as individual medical aid societies warning them of their failure to pay the gazetted tariffs.
On the other hand, medical aid societies have hinted that should Government refuse to revise downwards the new tariffs, they would be forced to downgrade members’ benefits or increase monthly contributions.
The gazetted tariff for consultation fees for general practitioners is US$35, but insurers are reimbursing doctors at the old rate of US$20.
Since 2008, there has been an impasse between medical aid societies and service providers regarding costs of medical services.