Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has paid back $100 000 extended to his private surgery by Premier Service Medical Aid Society.
The payment to Dr Parirenyatwa’s surgery had caused an uproar, with his critics saying it was improper as his ministry regulated PSMAS and hence he could have arm-twisted the service provider to extend the bailout to him.
The minister in turn said the payment was above board, a position supported by former Health Minister Dr Timothy Stamps.
PSMAS, under the leadership of former MD Mr Henry Mandishona, authorised an urgent transfer of US$100 000 to Dr Parirenyatwa’s private surgery in 2014, prompting calls for him to return the money and quit his Government post.
Last week, Dr Parirenyatwa said that his private medical practice paid back the money in full and PSMAS owed his business more than US$3 000.
“In March 2014 the medical practice received a lump sum owed to it by PSMAS. The medical practice further negotiated for an advance from PSMAS. The medical practice and PSMAS have since reconciled their accounts. PSMAS now owes the medical practice,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
“The advance has since been paid up in full. For the record, advances are standard practice by medical insurers and their medical service providers or patients. The Parirenyatwa Medical Practice was therefore not ‘overpaid’ by PSMAS, and Dr Parirenyatwa did not ‘pocket’ money unprocedurally as some reports have claimed. The process was above board and agreed upon by the medical practice and PSMAS purely on a professional basis.”
Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba said Dr Parirenyatwa’s action was to Government expectation.
“He has paid the money in full. That was the expectation of the Government for him to pay and we are happy he has fulfilled that expectation,” he said. PSMAS acting MD Dr Nicholas Munyonga confirmed that Dr Parirenyatwa had repaid the money.