The doctor to patient ratio in Ghana stands at 1:12,000, a proportion which according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is far below the global standard of 1:5,000.
This has resulted in the long queues we see at the Out Patient Departments (OPD) of the various hospitals, clinics and health centers in the country.
The phenomenon has also compelled some individuals to resort to self-medication, even though the cause of the disease has not been diagnosed and advised by health professionals.
In an attempt to mitigate this trend, Vodafone Ghana Communications, through its social co-operate responsibility has made healthcare delivery a priority in the country, by asking patients to dial 255 for assistance.
Mrs. Carman Bruce Annan, Brand and Cooperate Communications Manager, at a press briefing yesterday in Accra noted that healthcare delivery was paramount to the company. She said the company on Valentine day pays hospital bills for individuals who can not afford it, and treat diseases through its competent team of doctors free of charge on the Vodafone health line TV show.
Mrs. Bruce Annan indicated that the response shown by customers and the citizenry as whole, positions the company to do more to improve its services in healthcare.
According to her, 13 weeks of the Health line programme on TV was not enough to assist health delivery in the country and, therefore, they have introduced the Vodafone Health line 255, where Vodafon customers can call within the hours of 4:00 pm -10:00 pm to inquire about their health conditions.
Twenty doctors and nurses have been assembled to respond to the health related issue which would cost a GH10p per minuets.
‘For most people access to doctor is very difficult considering transportation, distance and cost,’ Mrs. Carman Bruce Annan.
Dr. Bright Asamoah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vantage Medical Foundation noted that the health line 255 would help many Ghanaians to get information on their health without necessary going to the hospital.
He said due to lack of health information about 18,000 babies are born with sickle cells, 75% die of hypertension and its related diseases, 4 million people are affected with diabetes, 3,500 persons are afflicted with various cancers and many others.