Health insurance in Ghana
Whether you’re thinking about visiting or are already residing in Ghana, securing the right health insurance policy can help cover medical costs while you’re in the area. At Pacific Prime, we make it easy for you to find the ideal plan for your needs, and within your budget. Click below to get a free quote or continue reading to find out more about health insurance in Ghana.
Overview of healthcare in Ghana
Ghana has one of the most advanced healthcare systems in Africa due to its public insurance system, known as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Prior to the public insurance system, Ghana used a ‘cash and carry’ scheme that required payment for any treatment upfront, which prevented a lot of people from accessing care.
The government launched the NHIS in 2003, which focused on treatments for malaria, respiratory diseases, diarrhea, diabetes, hypertension, and other local needs. While individuals who are enrolled in the NHIS are more likely to seek treatment when sick, visit clinics, and obtain prescriptions, the out-of-pocket expenses remain high for many. Even though flexible premiums make it possible for low-income and self-employed individuals to access care, waiting lists can be up to six months for these groups.
Despite the fact that the expenditure on healthcare has increased in the past decade, Ghana’s healthcare infrastructure has yet to reach the same standards of developed nations. This is especially true outside of the capital city of Accra and other large urban areas.
Public hospitals in Ghana are typically funded by the government. Additionally, religious groups play a key role in providing medical assistance to the local population. Many expats that arrive in the country find that the standard of public healthcare facilities is inadequate in comparison to those found in Western countries. Even though expats can access the NHIS services for a small fee, most prefer to get a private health insurance plan so they can be treated at a private facility.
The standard of public healthcare facilities varies throughout the country. In large city centers like Accra, there are many clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. Rural areas, on the other hand, are remote and typically do not have modern healthcare facilities. Instead of traveling long distances to reach healthcare facilities, the majority of the rural population uses traditional African treatments.
Expats living in Ghana typically opt for private healthcare facilities. Private clinics and hospitals in the country often provide a higher standard of treatment and have more modern equipment than public alternatives. While the standard of facilities varies even among private hospitals in Ghana, the ones found in large expat communities are well-equipped. Waiting times are also significantly shorter at private facilities and English-speaking doctors and medical staff are available.
Ghana health-related travel advice
Emergency healthcare services and hospitals can be found within cities. Pharmacies are available throughout major towns and cities, with some even operating 24-hours. It’s important to note that only certain pharmacies are licensed to sell prescription medication. Similarly, you should make sure that the drugs you purchase have the Ghanaian Pharmacy Council’s approval.
Some pharmacies in the country sell substandard, or even fake, medication. Therefore, your safest option is to buy medicine from a pharmacy that is part of a reputable healthcare facility. If you take any prescription medication then it’s advisable to bring them with you to Ghana. You should also travel with copies of your prescription and the generic names of the drugs just in case.
Ghana health insurance options
Expats relocating to Ghana should purchase a private health insurance plan before arriving in the country since it covers a variety of health issues and private treatment in Ghana. Employers often offer health insurance as part of an employment package. You should make sure that your policy covers emergency evacuation and repatriation in case you require serious medical attention and need to be transported back home, or to another country, for treatment.
How to find the best private health insurance in Ghana
Health insurance is a must for any expat who wants to have access to quality treatment. While there are several local private health insurance companies in Ghana, most expats prefer to go with a reputable international insurance provider to ensure comprehensive coverage. Aside from providing access to care within the country, international health insurance ensures policyholders can access treatment wherever they are in the world.
Pacific Prime offers a wide range of healthcare plans and travel insurance policies, along with benefit package options including inpatient, outpatient, dental, maternity, and specialist consultations. Contact our team of expert advisors today to receive a free quote and enjoy the peace of mind that our health insurance plans can offer.