Zimbabwe: Unions Claim Govt Looking to Grab Public Service Medical Aid Scheme

Plans by the Public Service Commission (PSC)'s to take over Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) are at an advanced stage, union leaders have claimed.

Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPTSU) secretary general, David Dzatsunga, revealed the development during the ongoing strike by health workers over poor salaries and harsh working conditions.

ZCPTSU is an umbrella body for civil service unions.

"There is also another issue which has come up. The government wants to grab PSMAS, our own project, which we started as workers.

"Where will we get treatment if they take it away," said Dzatsunga.

PSMAS is a mutual society owned by its members drawn from the public, informal and private sectors.

Employees in these various sectors of the economy have varying internal arrangements with their employees on payments of medical aid subscriptions.

"PSMAS is going to have its AGM on the 30th of this month, so we must go there and stop them from doing that. We should demonstrate just as we are doing here," said Dzatsunga.

He insisted that all public sector workers should keep rejecting the 100 percent salary increment offer.

"We have no other option because we can't operate at the poverty datum line. We are professionals.

"So we no longer want US$540 we initially requested but US$840," he said.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) head, Enock Dongo, said they were summoned by the Health Services Board (HSB) on Monday after 14 months of being ignored.

"There was nothing on the table for us as health workers, that's why we are here today to give a feedback.

"We are disturbed because we have written about seven letters to them in the past 14 months and they were not paying attention."

Asked about the current situation inside the hospitals, Dongo said it was disturbing.

"This is a pathetic scenario, where we have most of the health workers outside the hospital and what it means is there is disaster in there.

"It means that patients are stranded in the hospital. They cannot get the services they require," he said.

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