• ISSN: 2155-7950
  • Journal of Business and Economics

Impact of the National Health Insurance Scheme on Drugstores and Traditional Medicines in Ghana 

Kwadwo Adusei-Asante 
(School of Arts & Humanities, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)

Abstract: Ghana established a pro-poor hospital-based National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2004. Since the introduction of the scheme, limited research has been undertaken on its impact on Ghana’s healthcare options, which consist of traditional medicines, commercial pharmacies (drugstores) and faith healing. This paper draws on an ethnographic study conducted in the Daakye District of Ghana, and argues that although the NHIS has led to increased patronage of hospital-based treatment, the other healthcare options remain popular. Interrelated factors, including poverty, remoteness and cultural perceptions, were found to be drivers of the popularity of the non-hospital healthcare options. This paper seeks to contribute to recent discussions in the Ghanaian media on the government’s intention to integrate traditional medicines into Ghana’s healthcare delivery system.

Key words: health insurance; Ghana; health-seeking behaviour; traditional medicines; drugstores

JEL codes: H5

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