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MASM effects changes

Written by  McDonald Chiwayula

In a bid to curb malpractices and enhance quality service provision to its members, Medical Aid Society of Malawi (MASM) has announced an increase on monthly contributions across its medical schemes and has effected some immediate changes in its operations.

Andrew Ngomwa, Chief Commercial Officer, MASM Andrew Ngomwa, Chief Commercial Officer, MASM

This has been disclosed in Blantyre during a business breakfast the society organised for its members. MASM’s Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Chikoti said since the organisation introduced the ‘No Shortfall’ benefit there was upsurge in claims from premium health services facilities. He further said guided by the behavioural trends of some members who have been classified as high spenders, MASM will start engaging employers to adopt wellness programs which will be facilitated by the Medical Society.


“Looking at the spend for a particular organisation, we have decided to engage employer groups with our wellness programs so as to reduce the hospital bills. We will analyse common problems for our members in that organization and we will bring in experts with targeted presentations so as to bring in behavioural change and cut out high bills the society has to foot for its members on monthly basis,’’ said Chikoti.


According to Chief Commercial Officer for MASM, Andrew Ngomwa, the association has listened to some of the concerns raised earlier by its members and has scrapped off shortfalls on drugs for chronic illnesses. It has also raised foreign treatment cover, take for instance those on VIP Scheme are fully covered up to K10 million while those on Executive Scheme the limit has been pegged at K4 million.


“This is a very important discussion. We wanted to zero in on how the members have played a role to bring the society to its current state and we want them to reflect and reconsider their ways in as far access to health is concerned. You can imagine that some members chose to see a specialist instead of a general practitioner for primary health care cases now this culminated into the society paying for more claims than contributions received,” said Ngomwa.



Cross section view of the audience


Ngomwa added that by design the Medical Aid Society has to be self sustaining but this was not happening because there was not enough sanity in the system as such the society had to survive on its reserves which was not a healthy development. One of the upcoming innovative ways to clean up the system, MASM announced that it will soon roll out new member identification system.


“Going forward our members will have to identify themselves with biometrics or fingerprints the moment they arrive at the hospital or any service provider they will open their accounts with a fingerprint and the doctor will have to tick services offered and by the time the member is leaving the health facility he will need to close the account with a fingerprint.”


MASM has conducted the interface meetings in all the three main cities of the country (Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre) with a sole objective of discussing developments taking shape at the society and getting feedback from the members.

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