The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Gruppo San Donato and Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele, both Italy based organisations, aimed at providing a legal framework within which the parties may conduct their relationship and set out modalities of cooperation.
Under the MoU, the parties have agreed to explore the joint development of an excellence centre in Ghana and to support and encourage cooperation in distant medical consultations for international patients.
Both parties will also explore annual visits, and will support Ghana with training opportunities for its health professionals as well as explore scientific research and academic exchange by both parties.
The MoU was signed on the side-lines of the second European Corporate Council on Africa and Middle East (ECAM) conference held in Italy from October 31 to November 1, 2021.
Making a presentation at the conference on the theme “The role of Ghana as a strategic regional healthcare hub in West Africa”, Mr Agyeman-Manu said Ghana had identified medical tourism as a key agenda of the government to move the country’s health system forward.
With Agenda 111 and the country’s management of COVID-19, he noted that Ghana stands ready to lead in medical service delivery in West Africa with advancement in infrastructure, medical service value chain, education and research.
He added that the country is also working on an agenda of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ and ensuring it achieves Universal Health Coverage (UHC). To this end, Ghana has put together the key architectural documentations to ensure it is able to embark on Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The measures, he noted, include the passage of PPP Act 2020 (1039) and a policy document.
He added that the country is also going to focus on medical services where it has comparative advantages such as cardiothoracic surgery, invitro fertilization and other fertility solutions, orthopaedics, traditional medicine, among others.
“We plan to ensure we gain international accreditation seals on our facilities to ensure we achieve this. We plan to deploy a lot of technology in our medical tourism drive. This will include but not limited to e-health, m-health, artificial intelligence etc,” he said.
The Vice-Chairman of the Normandy Region and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of E4I Impact, a non-governmental organisation, said her organisation aims to train entrepreneurs in Africa, contribute to human capital development and bridge the gap between African and Italian companies.
She disclosed that they are currently working in 17 African countries, and had been in Ghana since 2013, working with the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) to train entrepreneurs.
She added that they are also providing bridges between local entrepreneurs and Italian companies, and are also operating more in the agriculture value chain, social housing and e-health.
Mr Agyeman-Manu welcomed the collaboration, and emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship to Ghana with it growing youth population. He indicated that he would link E4I with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Minister said COVID-19 had taught the world the importance of a value based multilateral system, saying what happened in China is affecting everyone in the world.
The ECAM Council was born with the primary objective of promoting constructive dialogue, new partnerships and strong cooperation between Europe, Africa and the MENA region
It is mission driven, with a strong focus on long term investments and partnerships in health services, infrastructure, education, research and training.
The ECAM Council promotes authoritative and intellectual exchanges across borders, cultures and languages.
The 2021 Conference was held on the Theme “New Ways to Care”.