While Ghana is still trying to improve its infrastructure to meet international standards and is making a step in the right direction with its national health insurance scheme, many facilities are still well behind, which has had an effect on the tourism industry.
Health care quality is still a very important aspect for most tourists and expats and the government is still scrambling for ideas for improvement.
Modernization of Health Records
However, one area where the country’s healthcare system is improving is the adoption of Electronic Health Records. But, there has been a shortage of local administrators with knowledge in the technology, forcing facilities to train their staff in-house or seeking outside help.
Many have encouraged local graduates to pursue an online health information management program via distance courses from US universities. Online HIM programs have been a literal godsend for the industry, as it provided a way for locals to gain a world-class education without having to leave their home country.
There is still a need for Better Management
While service has improved immensely and the whole structure has been modernized, there are still some issues arising. For instance, stock management and facility management is still lacking, which is causing many issues for patients.
It is still not uncommon for pharmacies to be out of stock for crucial medication or facilities to not be able to give accurate estimates on things like vacancies and available staff, which is causing admission issues.
In some cases, you may go to a certain facility to find out that the particular procedure you need isn’t offered there, or even worse, that the facility is closed. This can cause major issues when dealing with emergencies.
Urgent Need for Better Equipment
Private run facilities still have access to better equipment than public facilities. Public facilities, on the other hand, have to deal with a severe lack of funds from the government. As such, they have to rely on second-hand, and sometimes very old and outdated equipment.
Procedures like CT scans are only available in a handful of facilities, making diagnostics difficult. It isn’t uncommon to have to run through four or five facilities in order to find one MRI machine.
The country also has to deal with lack of formation for personnel. While some hospitals may have the equipment, many are experiencing a shortage of qualified staff to operate it.
This is due, in part, to the number of qualified medical students who end up leaving the country once they complete their studies. The government will have to find ways to retain its student class and this can only be done through a modernization of the current healthcare system and incentives for students to stay.
However, this is no easy task due to the current state of the system and the limited funds.
When the proper measures are implemented, Ghana will be able to improve its healthcare system and increase the number of visitors coming to the country.
While it’s sunny beaches and good overall infrastructure is one of the selling points of the country, it still has to make improvements to its healthcare system to claim its place as a world-class destination.