Legislators unite to condemn doctors’ demand for cash from medical aid patients


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James-MaridadiMembers of Parliament yesterday united to castigate the Zimbabwe Medical Association for holding the nation to ransom through its alarmist statement that doctors would no longer be accepting medical aid cards from 1 July when the association does not represent all the doctors in the country.

ZIMA said its members would be asking for cash upfront from all medical aid cardholders because medical aid societies owed its members $200 million.

Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi who moved the motion said the Minister of Health should intervene because patients must not suffer since the dispute was between doctors and medical aid societies and not patients who contributed their monthly subscriptions to their societies.

“I do not think Zimbabwe Medical Association must hold people to ransom and make statements which cause despondency in the country.  The statement that they put in the newspapers basically says that no medical doctor is going to attend to a patient without cash upfront.  That is the import of their statement; no money, no treatment and the statement is factually incorrect,” Maridadi said. 

“There are some doctors today who are giving service without money. I am on Cellmed and the day before yesterday, I went to see a dentist.  I produced my card and I got a service.  I am supposed to go back to the dentist in the next three weeks and three weeks will be well into July.

“After reading the newspaper and the statement of the Zimbabwe Medical Association, I now begin to think, am I going to get a service or not.  When I phoned my dentist, he said no, no, no, I am not even bound by the statement because I am not a member of that voluntary association.  I am a member of the Association of Dentists.  He said there are other medical doctors like surgeons who are not bound by the statement and they would be very happy to give service.”

Maridadi said the Minister of Health must intervene to correct the impasse because ZIMA was a voluntary organisation of only 150 people that was trying to hold the nation to ransom.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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