Namibian doctors shun civil servants over unpaid claims

APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

The effects of the ongoing liquidly crisis in Namibia continue to deepen amid reports that private medical practitioners are now refusing to attend to civil servants, citing non-payment by the their medical aid scheme.

The Ministry of Finance, which is the custodian of the Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS), is said to owe private medical practitioners, including pharmacists, up to N$180 million (about US$13 million).

As a result, private medical practitioners are refusing to treat members of PSEMAS unless they pay cash, saying that the state-owned medical fund has failed to settle their claims since December 2016.

However, Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Erica Shafunda told journalists on Friday that the ministry had paid N$50 million, which is part of the money owed to medical service providers for December last and January.

The senior official promised that the government would settle all the money owed to the doctors although she could not reveal the total amount to be paid.

The cash crisis that has negatively affected government has resulted in delays in salary payments by some public service departments, cancellation of public works and freezing of employment in the civil service.


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