November 23, 2020

Medical tourism has huge economic prospects – Health expert

The resident doctor at the newly-established Riva Swiss Hospital, Dr. Michael Amfo Afriyie, has urged the government to commit to resourcing health facilities across the country in order to leverage the tourism potential that comes with it.

According to Dr. Afriyie, medical tourism can have a big impact on the Ghanaian economy if much attention is paid to it.

Speaking in an interview at the opening of the first-class health facility, located at Adadientem in the Ejisu Municipality of the Ashanti Region, Dr. Afriyie said medical tourism is no longer about cheaper procedures and holiday trips, but also about the quality of doctors and technology, as well as care models.

The hospital, he said, will cater to the health needs of the community and lessen the congestion at Komfo Anokye, the major referral hospital for the northern sector.

“This facility has been set up to not only take care of the sick, but also tap into other economic prospects such as medical tourism, which l believe government can tap into to reap its benefits,” he stated.

The 30-bed-capacity facility is stocked with state-of-the-art medical equipment that is capable of treating and diagnosing several ailments. Some of these modern machines include C-arm Xray machine for orthopaedic surgeries, Storz arthroscopy machine, state-of-the-art laparoscopy machines, and 4D multipurpose ultrasound machines.

Dr. Afriyie observed that these modern equipment are mostly available at the nation’s two teaching hospitals, Korle-Bu and Komfo Anokye, only, adding that, “having such machines here in this community goes to prove the sort of healthcare and service we will be providing to patients home and abroad.”

Medical tourism involves people travelling abroad to obtain medical treatment. In the past, this usually referred to those who travelled from less-developed countries to major medical centres in highly-developed countries for treatment unavailable at home.

Senior ornithologist at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Baffour Awuah, while commending the establishment of the facility, noted that such support from the private sector will contribute to the attainment of universal health coverage.

He said the government is fully committed to realising this goal and is already pursuing a number of programmes towards this end, including enhancing the health insurance system.

The Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, said the establishment of health facilities goes a long way to complement the government’s policy of “One District, One Factory” (1D1F).

He said such establishments offer people the opportunity to easily gain access to health services.

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