Committee to promote medical tourism

 

The Ghana Health Service has set up a committee to promote medical tourism. The committee has been given three months to submit its report to the GHS Council.

The committee is expected to list major medical procedures that could be managed locally and their comparative costs. That includes kidney transplants, knee, hip and valve replacement with by-pass, retinal detachment, IVF, orthopaedics, maxillo-facial surgery, cardiac treatment and cosmetic surgery.

It is also expected to undertake an assessment of health facilities in the public, private and quasi-government sectors that could provide medical tourism, identify the shortfalls and estimated budgets in addressing such challenges in the short, medium and long term.

The committee must compile a register of local specialists and consultants as well as Ghanaians in the Diaspora with the required professional qualification and experiences, who would be eager to support the project, and prepare and submit a final legislative instrument as well as regulations for ratification

The committee must seek to secure international accreditation for the various health institutions that would be selected for the project.

Upon the completion of the exercise, there would be a comprehensive operational policy capable for launching medical tourism in Ghana.

The health service admits that the health sector has been compelled to send patients overseas due to lack of local medical facilities, technology and qualified professionals.

What worries the health service most is having to pay for, what it regards as, the relatively expensive costs of such treatments. Ghana has commissioned new and rehabilitated health facilities such as the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, with state-of-the-art technology, that could be used to kick-start the medical tourism project.

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