PSMAS admits turbulent run but denies rumours of pending closure

HARARE – Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) has admitted running into turbulent waters but dismissed claims the troubled health insurer was on the verge of closure following a difficult spell in recent years in the industry.

PSMAS, which was formed by civil servants, runs a medical insurance scheme for government workers while PSMI is the entity’s investment arm.

The scheme has, in the past few years, been buffeted by a slew of challenges mostly caused by low premium contributions by members, treasury’s failure to remit contributions deducted from members’ wages, poor management and the general effects of the country’s economic crisis.

Last month, PSMI announced it was closing down West End Hospital in Harare and Claybank Hospital in Gweru after failing to pay staff, including nurses and doctors, for three months.

But in a statement Friday, PSMAS said it was not closing its entire operation as alleged.

“Premier Service Medical Aid Society notes with concern rumours circulating on various platforms of its alleged impending closure from 2023.

“The Society categorically dismisses these rumours as not only false, malicious, and misleading but also bent on tarnishing the organisation’s image and reputation.

“Contrary to these misplaced assertions, PSMAS is not closing shop in 2023 or in the foreseeable future,” it said.

The society said it was undergoing a transformational process meant to address challenges that the organisation has faced in the recent past.

“PSMAS acknowledges the challenges at its investment arm, Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI).

“The responsible authorities are seized with and working flat out to resolve these challenges and restore normalcy at PSMI.

“PSMAS wishes to assure its members and stakeholders that the challenges at PSMI do not have a direct impact on its operational mandate, which is to fund healthcare needs for members,” it said.

Earlier this year, the government announced a bailout to clear PSMAS debts and improve the health insurer’s balance sheet.

Government employees make up most of PSMAS’ 900,000 client base.

But policy holders have in the past few years struggled to obtain medical services from hospitals using PSMAS health insurance policies.

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