The health industry comprises all firms directly involved in the production and promotion of health care. These include all firms (both public and private) operating in the health market and are involved in the manufacturing of health products, provision of health care, health enhancing services and generation of knowledge in support of health. The health industry as a new concept has not been recognized and analyzed.
The capacity of the local manufacturing industry is under-utilized and the potential of Ghana’s herbal and traditional medicines are largely untapped. The role of this industry in wealth creation is in sustaining health services and creating jobs. The overall aim of the health sector is to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce risk factors that arise from environmental, economic, social and behavioral causes.
A major prerequisite for a healthy population is how individuals, families and communities take care of themselves and the environment. Information with the specific aim of empowering people to make the right choice for healthy living has been seen as critical. The main disease burden of the country demonstrates a preponderance of diseases resulting from neglect of basic environmental practices and changes in dietary habits, physical activities and adoption of life threatening behavior.
The structure of Ghana’s health industry consists of the following:
• Health Services
• Communicable Disease Control
• Non Communicable Disease Control
• Reproductive and Sexual Health
• Accident and Emergency Services
• Clinical Care
• Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practice
The national health vision is to attain middle income status with 1000 USD per capita bythe year 2015 by creating wealth through health.
Infrastructure and Resources
All regional capitals and most districts have hospitals, polyclinics and clinics. Two teaching hospitals in Accra and Kumasi have facilities for treating special cases. Additionally, a number of religious organizations and private medical practitioners operate hospitals and clinics all over the country. Herbal medicine and psychic healing are also generally practiced, while a special government Herbal Medicine Hospital and Research Centre exists at Akwapim-Mampong.
Investment opportunities available in the health sector are in:
• Hospitals and clinics
• Health Centers
• Maternity Homes
• hospital equipment
• research and development facilities
• drugs and pharmaceuticals
• Chemical shops
• preventive products e.g. condoms, mosquito nets.
1. Import climate
As the Healthcare sector relies on imports there is a very open import climate. Ghana does not have any explicit import restrictions or tariffs that apply specifically to used or refurbished medical equipment in general. Customs officials, regardless of whether it is new or used, generally treat all imported equipment in the same way. Most hospital equipment including ambulances is exempt from duties and taxes by the Ministry of Finance. Some pharmaceuticals are exempt from duties and taxes.
2. Tariff Structure for Imports
a. Zero Rate Duty: Imported Mosquito nets falling within Heading No. 5608. 19.00.10 of the HS Code shall now be admitted free of Import Duty.
b. Twenty (20) Percent Rate: 20% is the standard rate of duty.
c. Exemptions: Exemptions on gifts of a charitable nature imported by NGOs are limited to only those for Health and Educational purposes.
d. Technical/safety standards:
Pharmaceutical import requirements
• All Drugs registered
• 18 month minimum shelf life
• All labeling must be in English
• Every drug imported must be registered with the Food & Drugs board