Employers have shot down a proposal by government to introduce a compulsory health scheme, adding they would take the matter up with authorities.
BY KUDZAI KUWAZA
On Wednesday, Public Service, Labour and Social Services permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka told an employers’ annual congress in Victoria Falls that the principles of the national health scheme had been approved by Cabinet.
“Employers and organised labour will be happy to know that cabinet has now approved the principles of the national health scheme,” Masoka said. “We can’t have medical schemes cover 8% of the population. Once we implement that scheme, we will up that figure to 40%.”
However, Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) executive director John Mufukare said the scheme should only come into effect when the country starts registering a 3% growth rate and not introduce it when the economy is growing at the current rate of 1,2%.
Employers queried why a compulsory scheme should be added to those who already have medical aid schemes elsewhere.
One employer queried why it would be compulsory for those with medical aid to pay for the national health scheme.
“As far as I am concerned, this is unilateralism,” the employer said.
The concern by employers was that the scheme would be implemented by the National Social Security Authority, which has been responsible for disastrous investments over the years.
Emcoz president Josphat Kahwema said they “will not take this issue lightly”.
Plans to introduce a compulsory health scheme have been in the pipeline since 2007.