BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
ZIMBABWE will soon adopt an electronic medical assistance card after local private health players have expressed their willingness to adopt the electronic system, which will ensure instant payment for medical assistance companies.
For years, private health practitioners and medical aid companies have been at odds over the former not paying them on time.
This had a ripple effect on the country’s healthcare system, leading private actors to avoid patients receiving medical aid.
Speaking at the official signing ceremony of the TGI-eCard strategic alliance in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday, the President of the Private Medical and Dental Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (MDPPZA), Johannes Marisa said: “We are excited to be part of the innovation that TGI and eCards are bringing to Zimbabwe, and we are confident that it will facilitate access to healthcare for all Zimbabweans.
He said healthcare providers were ready to support the instant payment platform as it created a level playing field for medical aid funds, service providers and subscribing members, while providers of services would receive their money for services rendered on time.
“For medical funds, this means low claims and the creation of reserves for the sustainability of the funds.”
Marisa said the electronic system, which allows facilities to tap to pay, would result in quality health service and reduced premiums from patients due to the low severity of claims suffered by their medical funds.
He said the model would also reduce out-of-pocket expenses in the form of co-payments and lost earnings resulting from varying levels of reimbursement claimed by medical funds.
“The initiative is therefore mutually beneficial for all participants and creates equity and justice among all and will promote the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 on universal health coverage.”
The electronic medical aid card model is the first of its kind in Africa.
Egypt was the first country on the continent to adopt the model, while in Zimbabwe; the system would be used as a pilot project for the Southern Africa region.
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