Ghana, United States, Health Care Systems, Obstetric care, Trauma care, Medical equipment and technology, COVID-19, Quality of Health Care, Diseases and Illnesses


Health and Medical Administration | Public Health


Natalie M. Laudicina


The health care system is an important factor for the well-being of the human population all around the world, and yet, health care can differ greatly depending on a variety of factors including location and culture. When referring to health care, it is appropriate to include skilled physicians, hospitals, care clinics, and medical equipment. This article conducts a literature review that compares the health care systems of two countries, the Republic of Ghana and the United States of America. This information is relevant for not only expanding one’s knowledge, but also for travel purposes, as both countries have highly populated cities and tourist areas. For example, Ghana has an estimated 890,000 entering tourists per year while the United States has approximately 79 million entering tourists per year. Additionally, both countries host study abroad programs, including the one at Grand Valley State University where many students have experienced the cultural and educational differences in Ghana. This research can be useful for educating visitors on what to expect with general health care practices in Ghana and in the United States. Additionally, it is very important to know why health care depends on location and how these systems evolved in-order to make improvements based on what other countries are doing in their health care systems. This review focuses the analysis of the health care systems in these two countries (Ghana and the United States) to six general areas: obstetric care (prenatal, infant, and maternal care), generalized trauma care, unique diseases and illness, visual images of perceived quality, medical equipment and technology, and lastly, the adaptations to the global pandemic of COVID-19. These six factors are important to consider when analyzing health care systems because these factors can affect how a person is diagnosed and treated. Additionally, these factors can differ depending on the health care system’s location, specifically due to cultural and traditional values. It is important to note that there are many health care facilities in Ghana and in the United States, including those in major cities and in rural communities. Having a variety of health care centers in two large countries makes making simple comparisons difficult, as there are many factors to consider. In this review, I attempt to overcome these confounding factors by being specific in my comparison by stating examples to support evidence from previous research, while including many different factors of the health care system, and narrowing down comparative regions within Ghana and the United States when possible (i.e. the state of Michigan). Overall, these health care systems vastly differ between Ghana and the United States due to the illnesses and diseases that are present in the specific areas and the resources that are accessible. Thus, the questions of this paper are: How and why are the health care systems of Ghana and the United States different?