By Staff Reporter
Members of Harare Municipal Medical Aid Society (HMMAS) are crying foul as they cannot access service anywhere. This includes the society’s owned medical facilities, whose workers staged a sit in protest last week over unpaid salaries.
This industrial action has opened a can of worms on how the entity is being run to the detriment of paying members the majority of whom are Harare City Council employees.
The workers are yet to receive their February salaries after the parent company took a decision to unbundle the unit and make the medical entity a standalone unit. The medical unit comprises of laboratories, medical clinics and pharmacies.
The decision to unbundle HMMAS medical facilities means that they no longer rely on the parent company to fund its operations. Lack of funding and failure by HMMAS to honour claims has crippled the operations of the medical facilities. As a result many members have failed to access medical attention.
“I came here yesterday to get treated but the doctors did not attend to me and the pharmacy has no medicine” said a disgruntled member who declined to be named.
What has irked some of the members is that sources within the medical aid society company revealed that the company is paying for claims at other private medical facilities such as Fotress Hospital in Ruwa which does offer service to HMASS members.
Some managers within the organisation have questioned why the HMMAS top leadership is quick to pay Fotress hospital claims while completely neglecting to pay for services rendered to members at HMMAs facilities.
The medical units are currently struggling to service their members while employees have gone for months without being paid. However senior managers at the entity continue to receive their salaries according to sources within the organisation.
Members of the medical aid facility have been failing to secure service from HMASS. Their situation has been made worse by the fact that they are receiving their salaries late. They are being deprived of a service that they have already paid for.
“Where is the medical aid regulatory authority when we are being short-changed like this” asked another patient at the Glenview facility.
Efforts to get a comment from the HMMAS management were unsuccessful.