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Confusion over COVID-19 health insurance fund

by Staff reporter
26 Jan 2021 at 06:55hrs | Views
THERE appears to be confusion over when frontline medical personnel will start receiving the liability insurance package, as they claim they are yet to receive anything, neither have they received communication to that effect, while the Health Service Board (HSB) says it has started processing claims.

This was disclosed by the Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo, who told NewsDay that they were not aware of the said development as they had not been consulted or notified about the package.

The employer's liability insurance package is meant to assist health workers at all levels who would have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement recently, HSB chairman Paulinus Sikhosana announced that in July 2020, government approved a COVID-19 employer's liability insurance to mitigate the social and economic impact of the disease to the affected and their families.

But Dongo said the money was yet to be received by the affected nurses.

"No nurse has been given the money they are talking about. We have not yet discussed with government, it is being imposed on us. As long as you are an employer and you try to publicise something we don't know about, then that's politicking," he said.

Dongo said many nurses, who had tested positive to the COVID-19 pandemic, were in isolation and had not been given the money which was supposed to cushion them.

Last Friday, Sikhosana had said health workers and other government workers were informed of the scheme and the necessary procedures to be followed when lodging a claim for support.

"As of January 19, 2021, the HSB has received and processed 471 claims for cover the members of the health service. All applications have to be accompanied by the laboratory results and the confirmation of employment by the head of station. This insurance scheme is over and above the various COVID-19-related allowances that have been extended to members of the health service," Sikhosana said.

He said the benefits were as follows: Grades A-E US$650 (paid in RTGS at the prevailing exchange rate), Grade F US$1 000 (paid in RTGS at the prevailing exchange rate), as well as an additional 90 days sick leave on full pay subject to confirmation from a medical board.

He said in the event of medical aid shortfalls in the treatment of COVID-19-related symptoms, government would pay the shortfall.

Zimbabwe has, since March last year, been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with healthcare workers being the main actors on the frontline, offering services, and getting infected and affected in the process.

Source - newsday