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In March 1957 the Republic of Ghana was the first African country to achieve its independence from the United Kingdom. The first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, commissioned health care facilities to care for indigenous people of Ghana. The health system was fully funded by state revenue; however, the lack of accessible health facilities in rural areas led to poor health outcomes (increase in communicable and non-communicable diseases, high infant and child mortality rates, etc.). The health system eventually experienced a budget crisis and, consequently, moved towards a cash system in which the patient pays for care and medication.
Health Care System
There are four main categories of health delivery systems in Ghana: public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit, and traditional systems. There has been a mandate since 1995 to integrate traditional and mainstream medicine. The health care system in Ghana is divided into three administrative levels: national, regional, and district levels. Additionally, there are several funding sources for the health system in place, however, it is grossly inadequate for achieving the goal of providing access to even basic health care for citizens throughout the country.
Watch the video, Dying patients in Search of Basic Healthcare in Ghana (Links to an external site.)that reveals the constraints and challenges in delivering health care in Ghana.
Briefly summarize the key things you learned about the constraints and challenges. How do you think Ghana can tackle these constraints and challenges? Compare how Ghana’s healthcare system compares to that of the United States and explain any similarities/differences.