Ghana can become primary medical tourism destination – Dr Armstead
Dr Rodney Armstead, President of LuccaHealth Medical Specialty Centre, has said that Ghana can become a medical tourist destination for the entire West Africa region.
He said there are opportunities to improve healthcare, as such, LuccaHealth is here; to bring the United States (US) medical quality, expertise and specialism to Ghana and to work with Ghanaian institutions and doctors to provide excellent health services.
Dr Armstead made these remarks at the just ended Commonwealth Speaker Series on Africa healthcare, organised by the Commonwealth Africa office, in partnership with the of LuccaHealth Medical Specialty Centre.
On the theme, “African Healthcare – problems, challenges and solutions”, the Speaker Series brought together leaders in the world of medicine, health, media, law, business and academics, to discuss problems and solutions to the pertinent issues in healthcare.
The high point of the Speakers Series was an engaging panel discussion which was moderated by Mr John Apea, the Africa Coordinator for the Royal Commonwealth Society.
Dr Armstead, who is a former President Bill Clinton’s appointee, highlighted the significant role Ghana could play in the African Healthcare space, and also underscored the need to have the right data to be able to tell its own story; tell from the information available.
In a panel discussion, Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said GHS was implementing the Ghana Integrated Management Information System, an opportunity to monitor stock levels of medical products in order to enhance efficiency.
He said there is the need to recognize that Ghana has come a long way in improving healthcare among its citizenry, adding that “the problems of the past like whooping cough and polio are no more, we must celebrate those achievements and recognize that we are on the right track”.
These comments were reiterated by other physicians on the panel such as Dr Caryn Agyeman Prempeh, Founder of Cerviva and Lead Medical Resident Officer at Claron Medical Centre.
On his part, Dr Winfred Baah, Consultant Physician in Internal Medicine and Nephrology at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, spoke of the need to invest in Ghanaian healthcare professionals, some of who are the most skilled in the world.
Mr Percy Asare Ansah, Chief Executive Officer of Premier Health Insurance, who urged the public to get an insurance cover, also highlighted the need to understand that healthcare insurance was not as expensive as people perceive.
Dr Margaret Atuahene from the School of Public Health, University of Ghana, also noted that in the area of healthcare delivery, health insurance was a good thing, however, stakeholders must deliberately develop pro-poor packages for the informal sector.
She said in Africa, the new challenge of non-communicable diseases, particularly, hypertension and diabetes takes a lot out of its weak financing budget, so it is time to pay attention to healthy lifestyles including physical activity and eating well.
“It also includes our emotions, do we get angry quickly, these things all impact our health so if we can work on them, it will save us a bit from hospital visits and certainly government’s budget on health”, she said.
Other speakers at the event included Mr Columbus Kwanchie Bruce, the President of the Ghana Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society.