Ghana has public and private health care systems, with five levels of focus (community clinic through to tertiary hospitals). Generally, expats will use the private health care system and private health insurance as it offers better services and care.
In 2003, Ghana introduced a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) that is available to all residents. This scheme replaced the former cash and carry method, where patients could only receive treatment after paying for it. In a struggling country, this old system resulted in a number of deaths.
Some religious institutions also provide healthcare. They are generally more prominent in more remote communities.
The Medical and Dental Council regulates all doctors and dentists in the country.
Ghanaian doctors have a wide variety of skills and levels of expertise. In country, you will find a range of general practitioners and specialists. Most doctors in Ghana will speak English, and perhaps a few other local or international languages. If English is not your first language, consult with your local embassy for a list of doctors that can better cater to you.
Unless you and your particular treatment are covered by NHIS, you should expect to pay for your service in cash or by credit card at the doctor's office. Payment occurs after treatment.
Registration and referrals are typically not needed when seeking out a new doctor or specialist.
For specific questions and recommendations, try consulting the EasyExpat Ghana forum.
Dental care is concentrated largely in Accra, and is difficult to access outside the capital.
Optometrists are even more difficult to find in Ghana, especially outside of Accra. The Ghana Optometric Association provides a detailed list of all centres in the country.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Accra is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Ghana. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Ghana: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.