International Health Insurance for Expats
Geographically closer to the ‘center’ of the Earth than any other country, Ghana is located along the Gulf of Guinea, and spans an area of almost 240,000 km². Ghana is a relatively wealthy country, and its growing economic prosperity has made it a regional power in West Africa. With a population of approximately 30 million, Ghana is home to a vast variety of ethnicities, languages, and religions. The capital of Ghana, Accra, is the country’s largest city with a population of almost 2 million people. The second largest city in Ghana, Kumasi, has a population of approximately 1.5 million inhabitants, and is considered one of the wealthiest cities in Africa. However, despite their relative level of wealth, Ghana’s health care expenditure is below the regional average.
The common health hazards in Ghana could be a real concern for people who are considering moving there or even just visiting. A large number of people die to disease every year in Ghana, as fatal diseases like HIV/AIDS and Malaria are prevalent across the country. For those reasons, expats moving to Ghana are recommended to take anti-malarial medication, as well as to make sure that their vaccinations for certain diseases are up-to-date before traveling. Some of these diseases include Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, and Diphtheria. Before going to Ghana, travelers are also obliged to get vaccination that protects them against yellow fever, and to provide proof of said vaccination.
When it comes to health organisation, Ghana is one of the most advanced countries in Africa, as the public insurance system grants any resident the right to medical care. However, Ghana’s health care system is still lacking in terms of quality and medical facilities, as public hospitals in Ghana are generally underfunded and overcrowded. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was introduced by the Ghanaian government in 2003 - a public insurance system that eradicated the need for Ghanaian citizens to pay for their treatment up front, which significantly improved the country’s health situation. The number of public hospitals in Ghana is approximately 1800, and both public and private hospitals are mostly located in urban areas.
Nonetheless, and despite the large number of public hospitals, Ghanaian citizens still need to be aware of the fact that not all medical facilities and/or treatments accept the public NHIS card and insurance.
In terms of private healthcare in Ghana, private hospitals are, on average, more equipped and provide a better quality and service than public hospitals. However, the standard of health care varies in Ghana for both private and public facilities alike, depending on the location of the facilities. While the well-equipped and comfortable hospital facilities are typically located in areas with big expat communities, the rural, remote areas in Ghana lack proper and adequate health care facilities and resources.
Emergency medical services in Ghana are also poor in most places, and these services cease to exist outside the major cities like Accra or Kumasi. It is not unusual for rich Ghanaians and expats to travel outside the country for the treatment of some medical conditions, since some services are not provided in all hospitals. Situations that involve serious medical attention would often require an emergency evacuation.
For these reasons, we strongly encourage both expats and visitors in Ghana to purchase a comprehensive international health insurance policy which provides an emergency evacuation and repatriation benefit.
If you are an expat living in Ghana, we at MyBroker Inc. are available to assist you with your comprehensive international health insurance needs, including emergency medical evacuations and repatriation. If you plan on only visiting Ghana, we are available to assist you with your travel health insurance needs, whether you are a solo traveler, travelling with your family, or with tour groups. For more information about the Ghana health insurance policies we can offer, please feel free to contact us today.