Mapping Ghana’s Referral Hospitals: Demand and Capacity for Ghana’s Referral Health Services (Infographics)


Using Ghana Health Service data, Asoko has broken down national demand for, and capacity of, secondary and tertiary hospitals (i.e. referral hospitals) operated by the government (‘public’) and religious entities (‘mission’). The data is exclusive of general/primary services and other hospital operators.

The two segments comprise a total of 150 hospitals providing referral services across Ghana, 81% of which are publicly operated. Public hospitals account for 72% of all referral hospital beds – there are 19,800 in Ghana. Based on WHO data there is an estimated 25,950 beds nationwide (for all hospital types), public and mission referral hospitals, therefore, represent 55% and 21% of national capacity, respectively. The remaining 24% (6,150 beds) can be attributed to private sector players, Islamic hospitals, and others.

Average demand for referral services – measured by the number of patients treated over regional population – is broken down by state. Asoko found that average demand is highest in the Brong Ahafo region, well above more densely populated regions such as Greater Accra and Ashanti.

Almost all regions have seen a decrease in average demand over the past year for referral hospitals, dropping anywhere between 3% and 18%. The only region to experience an increase over the year was Greater Accra, in which average demand for services rose by 7.4%.

Across the two hospital types, general beds make up the largest compliment with a total of 5,072. In terms of service-specific capacity, public hospitals provide the greater share of beds for almost every type of medical service/ward.

It is notable that mission hospitals have no capacity to provide psychiatric care to inpatients, for which public hospitals have a capacity of only 74 beds nationwide.

Beds for the Intensive Care and Maternity/Nursery units are more evenly split between the two types of hospital, while orthopaedic beds are the only case of mission hospitals accounting for a larger share of beds.

On aggregate, public and mission hospitals have the greatest bed capacity to serve maternity/nursery in-patients, with 3,522 beds, followed by pediatric and surgical patients with 3,516 and 1,621 beds respectively.



Credits: Asoko Insights

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