Health Care System In Ghana Case Study

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THE EVOLUTION AND CURRENT STATUS OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN GHANA

1 INTRODUCTION

Ghana, a country of close to 28 million people located in sub-Saharan Africa,is located in western sub-Saharan Africa on the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana covers an area of approximately 239,460 square kilometres. The country was formed in 1957 from the merger of the British colony of Gold Coast and British Togoland, becoming the first sub- Saharan country in colonial Africa to achieve independence. For administrative purposes, Ghana is subdivided into 10 regions, of which Greater Accra and Ashanti have the greatest proportion of urbanization, at 90.5% and 60.6% respectively; the regions are subdivided into 170 administrative districts (comprising 164 districts/municipals
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After the attainment of independence in 1957, Ghana was committed to providing free healthcare. This was a policy that remained in place until the economic crisis in the 1970s and 1980s when government had to cut down healthcare expenditure by a whooping 20% which lead to a shortage of healthcare supplies, lack of moral among staff and a halted investment in hospital infrastructure. As a rescue measure, the country sought the help of the World Bank. In return for such support, the Ghanaian government agreed to impose a charge for healthcare services which equated to 15% of recurrent expenditure. This system wasn’t entirely successful in that it lead to a rapid decline in service use of more than 50% countrywide and over 70% in the rural areas. It is important to mention that this decline also influenced much of the rural population to turn to self medication and traditional medicine which is still , incredibly popular today enjoying wide…show more content…
This aimed to make free health care available to all, but particularly to the poor and disadvantaged. The health insurance is a social intervention that sought to replace the “cash and carry system” of health care financing and to increase access to basic quality health care through the establishment of district-wide insurance schemes in Ghana (International Labour Organization, 2005). According to Act 650 (2003) of the national health insurance law, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is authorized to establish the following schemes: District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, Private Commercial Health Insurance Schemes, and Private Mutual Health Insurance Scheme. Currently, there are 145 district-wide health insurance schemes operating in Ghana of which Brong Ahafo region has 19 administrative centres of NHIS. Three categories of health insurance were authorised.
District Mutual Health Insurance Schemes – these were public insurance schemes open to all Ghanaian residents. The schemes were to be funded predominantly from the central government national health insurance levy supplemented by annual member contributions. Responsibility for regulating the schemes, accrediting providers and managing funds was given to the National Health Insurance Authority
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