Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Healthcare

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-31

Overview 

The healthcare sector in Ghana is organized at three levels: national, regional and district. Health interventions are packaged for each level and are delivered at the respective clinics and hospitals. 

Healthcare is variable throughout Ghana. Urban centers are well served, and are where most hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the country can be found. Rural areas often have no modern healthcare services. Patients in these areas either rely on traditional African medicine or travel great distances for healthcare. Most healthcare is provided by the government and is largely administered by the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Services. The healthcare system has five levels of providers: health posts, health centers and clinics, district hospitals, regional hospitals and tertiary hospitals. Health posts are the first level of primary care for rural areas.

Ghana has on average spent about 6 percent of its GDP on healthcare infrastructure. The COVID -19 pandemic has exposed the lapses in its health sector. In June 2020, Ghana’s president announced his intention to build 88 district hospitals. However, it remains to be seen whether this vision will be realized in light of the election slated for December 2020.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects 

Ghana has very limited local production of pharmaceuticals and even less manufacturing of equipment and devices. The country relies on imports for approximately 85 percent of its total healthcare consumption. Ghana has moved away from a ‘pay as you go’ system, where individual health expenditures were paid in cash prior to treatment and covered entirely by patients. The National Health Insurance Scheme now provides wide coverage for a limited scope of health issues, primarily insuring for treatment against the most prevalent diseases (malaria and others). Ghana has sought to introduce more private-sector participation into the healthcare sector. For U.S. companies interested in the healthcare market in Ghana, the most dynamic growth and most exciting opportunities will be found in privately funded hospitals and clinics and in the non-state-controlled portion of the pharmaceutical sector.

Below is a comprehensive analysis of investment opportunities identified by the Ghana Investment Promotion Center:
•    Construction of hospitals and clinics
•    Diagnostic and laboratory facilities and referrals (histopathology)
•    Drug procurement and pharmaceutical supplies management
•    Medical equipment
•    Digital hospital equipment
•    ICT hospital management
•    Hospital waste management
•    Diagnostic imaging and digital imaging
•    Advanced laboratory equipment
•    Advanced life support and monitoring systems
•    Emergency response and ambulance services
•    Rehabilitation and physiotherapy

Private health facilities complement the public sector. As the days of free health care in public hospitals are over, costs are becoming less of a barrier. The added values of private facilities are quality and convenience. There is a growing middle class that prefers to use private health facilities and can afford the expense. 

Other opportunities meriting further exploration:
•    Commercial health insurance
•    Hospitals and clinics
•    Elderly and residential care
•    Occupational health and rehabilitation/physiotherapy
•    Dialysis centers
•    Multidisciplinary cancer treatment centers
•    First Aid and air ambulance services
•    Diagnostic services such as X-ray, MRI, CT, advanced laboratory services including histopathology
•    Services for maintenance and repairs of medical equipment
•    Mortuary services/Funeral homes