Over the years, many private health facilities in the country have been challenged with a lack of adequate health diagnostic equipment due to high cost of the equipment and funding issues. To address these challenges, Cassona Global Imaging Company has proffered a lasting solution that tackles both equipment supplies and funding needs.
The Californian, USA-based, export trading company (ETC) that specialises in health products in the diagnostic imaging field has entered the local market to support local health facilities to provide affordable refurbished medical equipment, easy access to this equipment, and provide low-interest credit to facilitate purchases.
The president of the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana (PHFAoG), Dr. Samuel Kwame Buabeng-Frimpong – speaking on the sideline of the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) 2022, mentioned that affordability of medical equipment is a global challenge and the sub-Saharan region is even more challenged due to the economic situation; hence, it will require an initiative that provides credit facilities on a long-term basis and accessibility to address such issues as Cassona seeks to provide.
“This medical equipment could cost over a million dollars when new, and so affordability is a challenge; and the kind of interest rates the banks here give do not encourage accessing their facilities for such investments.
“Most of our medical equipment and other non-drug consumables like gloves and laboratory reagents, among others, are all imported – and the currency depreciation is even making things worse, so it is a whole collage of challenges that must be tackled carefully not to affect the quality of healthcare delivery,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer-Cassona Global Imaging, John Chigbu, mentioned that his outfit will among other things provide credit facilities for health institutions to procure these refurbished machines, import them into the country for easy access, provide training and skills development on the usage of equipment and maintenance, and provide the uninterrupted power supply for the machines to have a longer lifespan.
“We want to bring into the country equipment health facilities can afford, that is functional and can be maintained locally – which is why refurbished equipment is the best. One of the problems we have identified in Africa is that buying expensive equipment and maintenance becomes a problem. The products have a warranty, but must be flown back to Europe or America for repairs at expensive shipment costs and a long downturn.
“Therefore, Cassona has trained experts that will maintain and repair damaged equipment within 48 hours, or provide an alternative for the equipment until the faulty one is fixed,” he said.
The CEO indicated that health facilities only have to make a down-payment of 35 percent and get their medical equipment delivered for use, with the rest to be spread over a 12-month period. However, lease finance comes with monthly repayment plan over 24 months period.
Refurbished equipment is said to cost less than new equipment even though it has the same functionality, delivers the same service, saves the environment through reuse, and enables the deployment of more equipment for diagnostic and treatment purposes.