Image: The University of Ghana Medical Centre
West Africa's largest healthcare project has been launched in Accra, Ghana. The Eco Medical Village is set to become a 1,100-bed sub-regional project, providing specialized medical centers across 40 acres. The $476m project will be located between Achimota Senior High School and GIMPA and include a referral center for diseases, research facilities, sports medicine center, disaster management center, women and children hospital and a center for elderly care. It is expected to take 26 months to build and when completed, will employ more than 5,000 medical and specialized healthcare professionals. The state-of-the-art health village will also include 4-star hotels, pharmacies and provide an air ambulance service and could transform the way African's access health and medical services in the future.
New Medical Tourism Destination
It is hoped that Ghana’s new state-of-the-art Eco Medical Village will promote global health tourism across the region and provide the next medical tourism destination, particularly following the closure of the Ibom Specialist Hospital in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Up until now, those who can afford to, travel to places such as India, the US, and the UK for medical treatment. Nigerians alone spend around $2.5b a year for medical services abroad. The goal for the new Eco Medical Village is to change that and not only provide treatment and medical services locally to Africans but bring investment into the region, instead of it disappearing overseas.
Attracting ‘Best Medical Personnel’ a Priority
Backing the project, the government say that the new medical facility follows the government’s own manifesto of placing a priority on the private sector to lead the country’s development. However, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo has expressed the importance of ensuring that the new medical facility will be staffed by the ‘best medical personnel’ to enable the Eco Medical Village to maintain the highest quality of service. As Ghana has experienced a shortage of healthcare professionals, the new Eco Medical Village could potentially see a combination of overseas medical, nursing and healthcare specialists, sharing their knowledge and expertise with local medical personnel.
Ghana Takes Lead in Healthcare
The new Eco Medical Center is hoped to generate around $899 million dollars for Ghana. The project strengthens the country's move away from a government-supported public sector health service, to a service made up of different healthcare service providers, working together to improve Ghana's national health service. The project emphasizes Ghana's desire to become the healthcare leader across the ECOWAS (The Economic Community of West African States) sector and it is hoped that with initiatives like the Eco Medical Village, alongside advancements in existing digital healthcare technology, Ghana will be placed firmly on the global healthcare map.
The launch of the Eco Medical Village project is an example of how Ghana plans to lead the way in global healthcare. Offering African's an alternative to traveling to India, Europe or the US for their healthcare needs, it also keeps this valuable investment within West Africa. And with the promise of over 5,000 new healthcare and medical jobs, state of the art facilities and cutting edge research on the horizon, it could transform healthcare provision across the continent.