Top executives at some medical aid societies are earning monthly salaries ranging between US$200 000 and US$500 000 despite declaring that their institutions are insolvent, a senior official has said.
Government has responded by requesting that all health funders submit their salary schedules.
However, preliminary indications show that most executives are reluctant to release the schedules.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr Paul Chimedza told The Sunday Mail that his ministry sought to verify the financial status of medical aid societies following spirited resistance to new consultation fees.
“We have asked them to give us their salary schedules, but none of the medical aid societies has owned up,” said Dr Chimedza.
“Health institutions, especially in the private sector, are folding due to insufficient tariffs being paid by the medical aid societies while the health funders’ bosses are earning between US$200 000 and US$500 000.
“I would rather have a medical aid institution collapse than a health institution because at the end of the day, the common person, who is the contributor, is the one that will suffer without viable health institutions,” he said.
Association of Health Funders of Zimbabwe (Ahfoz) chief executive Ms Shylet Sanyanga said she was not aware of the ministry’s request to submit salary schedules.
“I’m not aware of this issue and therefore can’t comment,” she said.
Medical service providers and medical aid societies have been at loggerheads following the gazetting of new consultation fees.
Government set the initial consultation fee for general practitioners at US$35, up from US$20, while specialist services were increased to an average of US$120 from US$80.
Ahfoz argues that the fees are too steep.
Doctors, on the other hand, want the health funders to stick to the new tariffs.
Authorities recently warned that defiant medical aid societies risk not having their licences renewed.
They also expressed keen interest in the health funders’ accounts.
Early this year, it was revealed that top management at Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) had gobbled US$1 million in basic salaries, yet the institution had a US$38 million debt.
Former Psmas chief executive Dr Cuthbert Dube was earning a staggering US$535 000 per month.