In light of a growing economy, Ghana’s healthcare sector has seen a high demand for medical imaging technology.
A new study from Frost & Sullivan found that in 2008, healthcare sector revenues reached $50 million in the African nation. The report projects that by 2015, that number will almost triple, to approximately $135.8 million. Government investments in public hospitals and national health insurance are two of the key drivers behind industry growth.
"The biggest drive towards the uptake of medical imaging devices and laboratory analysers in Ghana is that government is investing in this area in order to improve the diagnostic capability of the country," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lizelle Wentzel. "Due to the high incidence of various infectious diseases, Ghana has invested significant capital into upgrading hospitals, removing obsolete equipment and replacing it with new and improved devices."
With a goals to improve the quality of healthcare in the country, the government has upgraded 41 public hospitals with new x-ray and ultrasound equipment and has begun to upgrade laboratories by implementing automation systems.
Despite the demand for medical devices in Ghana, the capital investment required to purchase equipment is not always available.
"The Ministry of Health is the largest buyer of medical equipment in Ghana," said Wentzel. "However, the MOH does not allocate sufficient funds to procuring the necessary devices."
The public and private sectors of the industry differ on ways to procure clinical imaging technology. The public sector relies mostly on donations for equipment, whereas the private sector looks at inexpensive refurbished devices. Officials say a system of sharing between the two sectors would be a step forward in making the technology more available to providers and bypassing the lack of government funds.
"In order to meet the needs of both manufacturers and end-users, a mobile unit that would allow hospitals to share particular devices could decrease implementation and maintenance fees and instead operate by charging service and training fees," said Wentzel. "This will be a less capital intensive endeavor for end-user groups in Ghana while still allowing them to have access to the latest technology."