WINDHOEK, 21 MAY – The Public Service Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) will be remodelled to include a biometric system, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein said Monday.
Addressing staff members of the ministry in Windhoek, Schlettwein said under the new model, every member and their dependants will be registered “with urgency” in a bid to sustain State funds and eliminate corruption, unethical behaviour and fraud.
He added that everyone who claims from Psemas will be identified via biometric cards that will be issued to them once they have been re-registered.
Service providers will also be obliged to ensure that only members and their dependants are covered.
“Psemas is an issue that we have to address with urgency,” Schlettwein said.
The minister further noted that the principle of equality was strong when the scheme was established by government for all public servants to receive the same benefits for medical health.
“But we messed it up. We engaged in membership fraud and over-claimed. The scheme is now in terms of budgeting N.dollars 2.5 billion a year and that is what we pay for the 120 000 or so civil servants we have,” Schlettwein said.
He added that the total budget for the health ministry that serves the rest of the country’s total population was N.dollars 6 billion, thus too much was spent on a small group of people.
Schlettwein said it was the ministry’s responsibility to ensure that public funds were spent fairly, correctly and with the highest impact.