Healthcare in Ghana

Facilities and the system

Healthcare in Ghana

Ghana is one of most advanced countries in Africa in terms of health organisation, thanks to a public insurance system that replaced the former “cash and carry” health system. 

The public insurance system allows any resident  to access medical care. Ghana is, however, still very much lacking in terms of quality of care, and facilities.


There are many different categories of hospital in Ghana. Generally the agglomerations are served better than the rural areas, which have a very limited access to archaic health institutions.

All the country is, on average, poorly served from the point of view of medical facilities. This is the reason why a lot of people still rely on self medication, especially in rural Ghana.

Private facilities number around 1,294. Private hospitals provide, on average, a better quality of treatment and have more modern equipment than public institutions.

Public hospitals number around 1,818. They tend to be overcrowded and lacking in quality, especially compared to developed countries. Both public and private institutions are generally located in urban areas.

Religious institutions, generally Christian or Muslim, number around 204. These are found predominantly in rural areas.

There are general hospitals, but generally institutions are not offering all kind of facilities and services. Indeed, special fields of medicine are only provided in precise hospitals that focus on those ones. For instance, as for special fields, there are 7 hospital specializing in gynecologist, 2 in pediatrics.

The majority of hospitals are general, in that they focus on general medicine and don’t offer a full range of treatments. If you require specialised treatment you will have to travel to certain hospitals, and sometimes abroad. For example, there are only seven hospitals in the country that cater for gynecological problems and two for pediatrics.

Some services are not provided in every hospital: only 9 hospitals provide surgery services (5 of them specialize in this field). Rich Ghanaians and expats often travel outside the country for treatment.

Treatment on the NHIS

Also, if you are insured by the public National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), you have to be careful of the fact that not all medical facilities accept the NHIS card and insurance.

As far as treatment costs are concerned you will have to pay, as not all treatment is covered by public insurance. If you have private insurance (most expats do) the cost you will have to pay depends on the plan you bought.

You can find a list of medical centres on the Ghana Hospitals website , classified according to the type of services and specializations they provide.

Further reading

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