Walter Muchinguri Assistant Business Editor
The Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) has appointed human capital expert and business consultant Mr Henry Mandishona (37) as its managing director with effect from May 1.Mr Mandishona’s main brief is to turnaround the fortunes of the ailing health insurer.
He becomes the inaugural managing director of PSMAS after the society abolished the position of group chief executive after the controversial departure of former boss Mr Cuthbert Dube last year.
Before his appointment, Mr Mandishona was group human resources director of Public Service Medical Investments (PSMI), a subsidiary of PSMAS, which he joined in 2006 as an assistant human resources manager before rising through the ranks.
He takes over the running of PSMAS at a time the health insurer is facing serious financial challenges that have seen it failing to pay service providers and its members being turned away by medical practitioners.
PSMAS was also recently ordered to pay Mr Dube $3 million in salaries backdated to January 2014 plus full benefits by arbitrator Mr Dumisani Nyoni. In addition the arbitrator also ordered Mr Dube’s reinstatement.
The organisation recently advised some service providers to demand cash upfront from its members who seek their services and the members in turn will apply for reimbursement from the society as a way of avoiding further litigation.
Part of the challenges are blamed on Government’s failure to remit civil servants’ contributions to PSMAS.
Civil servants constitute the majority of the over 800 000-members of the health insurer, which has branches across the country and the region.
In a memorandum to staff on Monday, PSMAS interim manager, Dr Gibson Mhlanga said Mr Mandishona was appointed managing director because of his “solid experience in human resources and business consultancy spanning over 15 years”.
Mr Mhlanga said Mr Mandishona was “instrumental in the successful implementation of PSMIS transformation strategy, performance measurement and management system, employee and customer satisfaction surveys resulting in the creation of a performance culture in the PSMI Group, among many other strategic milestones”.
“As you are aware, Dr F F Muchena has been acting in the capacity of group chief operation’s officer, and with the guidance of the group chief executive officer-interim manager, Dr Mhlanga, Dr Muchena has been instrumental in developing a turnaround strategy for the society,” wrote Mr Mhlanga in the memo.
“As such, to facilitate a smooth transition following the appointment of Mr Mandishona, Dr Muchena shall work with him so as to bring Mr Mandishona up to speed with the operations of the society and prepare him for taking over full responsibility of the society, reporting to the group chief executive officer-interim manager, and effective June 1 2015.”
Mr Mandishona could not be reached for comment on his new appointment as he was said to be out of the country on business.
He holds a merit Masters Degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe and a diploma in human resources management from IPMZ.
Before joining PSMI, he had worked in senior positions at Colcom Holdings, Trust Bank and was graduate management trainee at SMM Holdings.
He is key competences are in strategy formulation and implementation, operations management, customer and employee surveys, marketing and business development, change management, job evaluation and reward management, performance management, pay for performance and incentive programmers, recruitment and selection, learning and development, industrial relations, organisational culture assessments and skills audits surveys, contingency planning, brand management and conflict resolution.
Mr Mandishona is also a pastor with a local church and a founder of a junior school in the capital.