Zim health minister sucked into $100 000 scam - report

2015-10-27 14:11


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Harare – Zimbabwe's Minister of Health and Child Care David Parirenyatwa has reportedly been sucked into a state health insurer - Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) - scam, after he allegedly received an advance payment of $100 000.

Zimbabwean media reports said Parirenyatwa "corruptly enriched himself" following the advance payment his surgery received from PSMAS in May 2014.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, local doctors had since urged the minister to resign before "we launch a nationwide petition" calling for his dismissal.

The doctors accused Parirenyatwa of swindling the crippled state health insurer.

"Minister, it is honourable that you resign and apologise to the nation and you will go down in history as the worst this country has ever witnessed," Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors' Association president Fortune Nyamande, wrote in an open letter to Parirenyatwa.

'It's called capitation'

The state-controlled Herald newspaper reported last week that the then health ministry principal director Dr Gibson Mhlanga authorised an urgent payment of $100 000 into Parirenyatwa's account through his (Parirenyatwa's) private company, CHEST.

The minister was allegedly entitled to only $23 000 for patients seen at his private surgery.

Parirenyatwa allegedly pocketed $77 000 for services not rendered to PSMAS. But he defended himself, claiming it was common industry practice.

"It's above board. It's called capitation where a service provider can request an insurer to pay him more than what he is owed. This money would then be recovered through future claims to the insurer by the service provider. It's a common norm in the medical industry," Parirenyatwa was quoted as saying.

Parirenyatwa claimed that PSMAS owed him at least $55 000 at the time.

Zimbabwe Medical Association secretary general Dr Shingi Bopoto told the Herald in a weekend report that some medical practitioners had gone for at least three years "without receiving even a cent for services rendered to PSMAS members".

Bopoto said it was disturbing that a cabinet minister, who is also the regulator of medical services, was getting an advance ahead of everyone else.

Read more on:    david parirenyatwa  |  zimbabwe  |  health  |  southern africa

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