The Managing Director of Holy Trinity Hospital in Accra, and SPA in Sogakofe in the Volta region, Dr. Felix Anyaa has called on the government to consider health tourism as one of the emerging tourism products on the global market, especially in the developing world.
He said though marketing of traditional tourist products in the country is not a bad idea, attention must also be given to the health sector to rake in more foreign exchange for the country.
He was speaking in an interview with The Chronicle during the recent Ghana Club 100 awards night, which saw his hospital been voted as the best health facility in the country. The awards night, dubbed “Celebrating Ghana’s Business Leaders”, is a platform designed by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to identify and award Ghana’s best 100 companies based on a world class criteria.
The 2009 award is aimed at rankings which are based on the company size, growth and profitability for the past year. The health facility was ranked 34th, which is the number one in the health category.
Dr. Ayaaa said whilst it cost $100,000 in the UK and other developed countries for one to have cardio surgery, it cost just $10,000 in Ghana to have the same surgery.
Dr. Anyaa argued that if this medical business is well promoted as a tourism product just as other countries are doing, the country would benefit tremendously and would become a haven for heart operations and spinal surgery.
He noted that Cuba is at the moment exporting doctors, and Ghana can benefit tremendously from medical tourism if it is well promoted. He noted that Nigeria recently performed its first cardio surgery and the doctor who did that was trained here in Ghana. To him, this alone shows that if government attaches great importance to health tourism, she would reap a lot of benefits.
“The rising changes in the market environment offer the medical sector an opportunity to respond with the establishment of a SPA, as most appropriate marketing strategy that targets the emerging middle-class, most of whom are prone to non-communicable lifestyle ailments with a strategic marketing mix. Such life style, which has traces of induced illness of modern day generation include; hypertension, diabetes, over weight, poor sleep, migraine, high cholesterol, stomach ulcer, addiction, neck and back pain are causes which constitute major health hazards globally”, he said.
Touching on the secret behind the performance of his health facilities, Dr. Anyaa said his outfit has managed to effectively combine the traditional way of treatment with contemporary methods. He said while it is traditionally those who are sick that go to hospital for medical attention, anyone who has psychological, Physical and mental problem also has health problems, and must be attended to as specified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
He said the person might not be physically sick but the psychological problem he or she is going through is a serious health matter that must be addressed.