Health care coverage in Ghana has increased significantly over the years. As at 2018 around 11 million or 38 percent of the population had been covered under the National Health Insurance System. The public sector plays the largest role in Ghana’s health care provision however the private sector continues to contribute significantly to the provision of healthcare services in Ghana as well.
In ensuring adequate access to healthcare services, healthcare is decentralized across various levels. At the basic level, there are community hospitals, clinics and health centres within the sub district that serve as the first point of the primary health care system. At the secondary level, there are district and regional hospitals which provide a higher level of healthcare assistance to the people. Highly equipped Teaching hospitals which are located in the Northern, Ashanti, Greater Accra, and Central regions provide the tertiary level of healthcare which encompasses the provision of specialised consultative healthcare often for patients on referrals from a primary or secondary healthcare provider.
Two main agencies have oversight responsibility for the Ghanaian healthcare system.
1. The Ministry of Health &
2. The Ghana Health Service
The Ministry of Health manages the allocation of government funds for development of the sector whereas the Ghana Health Services ensure the implementation of policies, regulates, registers and issues licence for health facilities .
Ghana’s health sector is however heavily reliant on imports to meet its pharmaceutical demand, with imports accounting for about 85% of medicines and equipment in the sector. Domestic production barely accounts for the remaining 25% of the country’s pharmaceutical needs.
Ghana’s healthcare market remains one of the most attractive markets in Africa for investments and the outlook for the health sector remains very positive due to several government initiatives and developments. For instance, in dealing with the aforementioned reliance on imports to meet the nation’s pharmaceutical needs, government has banned the importation of certain drug, provided tax reliefs and capital injection for local pharmaceutical companies. This in effect will induce more local production of drugs as well as create the right environment for investors seeking to manufacture drugs and equipment locally.
Again, there has been an increased turn to digital technologies to provide efficient and speedy health services. This is evidenced by Ghana having the world largest medical drone delivery services provided by tech start-up Zipline. The development augurs well for start-ups and investors with interest in developing innovative medical technologies.
Lastly, the Corona Virus pandemic has turned the spotlight on development of a more robust healthcare system. Massive investments has therefore been made into developing health infrastructure across the country. Government is currently pursuing the construction of 111 district hospitals dotted in all 16 regions whilst the private sector just completed the construction of a 100-bed infectious disease facility. In furtherance of this agenda, the government remains in constant dialogue with the private sector to support more projects and developments geared at fortifying the Ghanaian healthcare system.