Cimas subscribers to fork out cash for medicine

HARARE – Cimas Medical Aid Society subscribers will have to fork out hard cash for medicine, according to a circular sent by the society last week._45283501_afp_nurse226b

Roderick Takawira, the Cimas acting managing director, said the temporary suspension of the drug facility is meant to deal with unspecified manipulation of the system by fraudsters.

“Due to abuse and fraudulent activities perpetrated by persons unknown using the Cimas cards, we have suspended the online drug facility system with immediate effect,” the circular said.

“The matter has been reported to the responsible authorities,” added the  information bulletin released last Friday.

“Providers are advised that patients will unfortunately have to pay cash for drugs and claim from the society. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused and hope to remedy the situation soon.”

According to Itai Rusike, Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director, government needs to act fast to nip the lawlessness prevalent in the health sector.

“The CWGH is concerned that this new system opens the door for a cash payment that inevitably increase in size annually or more often, defeating the point of prepayments to medical aid and increasing the barriers to use of services,” he said.

Cimas was recently ordered by the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) to stop interfering with subscribers’ right to choose a doctor or institution of their choice after a probe revealed that the medical aid society was engaged in restrictive practices.