By Staff Reporter
Harare, June 16, 2016 – THE stand-off between medical insurance companies and doctors continued Wednesday with patients now required to pay cash upfront before receiving treatment.
The new dispensation comes into effect beginning July next month.
Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZiMA) president Agnes Mahomva said on Wednesday patients on medical aid who cannot raise the cash required by doctors will be referred to government hospitals.
“ZiMa is committed to total patient care. While this matter is being addressed and resolved, ZiMA is committed to ensure that patients who are unable to pay the sums involved will not suffer,” Dr Mahomva.
“We have advised our practitioners to install Point of Sale Machines payment instruments in their practices. Where patients do not have the sums in their accounts, all patiently will be appropriately referred to Government or public health institutions such as Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where they will be provided with the necessary health care all times.
Mahomva said this was an effort to allow doctors to keep their practices viable for the benefit of the doctors.
She said the doctors were being forced to pay tax for invoices which would not have been honoured by medical aid insurers.
Resultantly, ZIMRA is now in the habit of invading medical doctors’ personal accounts and garnishing them to recover unpaid tax.
The impasse follows continued failure by health insurers to remit payments to doctors who would have offered medical services to patients.
Persons who subscribe to medical aid schemes are generally reluctant to seek medical services in under resourced government hospitals where service is usually poor.