Ghana gained its independence in 1957 where as USA has been independent since 1776. According to WHO, Ghana has a GNP per capita of 1,810; where as USA’s GNP per capita is 47,820. The per-capital total expenditure on health for Ghana is 90.0; this number for USA is more than 8,900.
Looking at these numbers one might be wondering if it’s at all fair comparing these two countries since they belong to two different categories of income. Also just looking at the numbers one might get the impression that USA might have great health care system with the healthiest population in the world and Ghana might have an inefficient health care system. But this is not entirely the case. Although USA is the top health care spender, the health status of its population is not that impressive. On the other hand with such a small amount of money the Ghanaian health care system is able to achieve better health care equity and access for its population. Although it’s not there yet, the Ghanaian government has a vision of implanting a quality health system, which is accessible by all. Within the next five years Ghanaians are aspiring to have a health insurance, which protects every citizen from out of pocket spending. Although there are lots of challenges in relation to this system and it’s still in its infancy it has one attribute that the US system basically lacks: the political will power and the government’s commitment to make it work. In addition although Ghana is a relatively new independent country, they have reached to this point in an astonishing short period of time compared to the US or any health care system in the world for that matter. The US has been trying to achieve universal and better health care system since 1890’s but the system is not just failing behind in most measures in comparison with other developed countries but it’s very expensive and inaccessible to the poor (palmer,1999) . Only 50% of the population has insurance. The other 50% might get bankrupted overnight if sick due to medical bills. Although a lot has been said and a lot of facts reflect poorly on the healthcare system of USA only some politicians take this issue seriously and include health care reform in their agenda. The other half however are very successful in conveying messages and policies, which seem to make perfect (political) sense, sophisticated and logical but their practical application in the health care arena simply translates to “no health care for the poor”. Health care is the most basic need of any society. It should be a human right issue not an economical or political issue. It shouldn’t be on politicians table for negotiation rather it should have been one of those issues, which brings every party and society together like patriotism or national security.
“A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US.” Physicians for a National Health Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
“Global Health Observatory Data Repository.” African Region: Ghana Statistics Summary (2002. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.