Sogakope (V/R) March 19, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Saturday commissioned Ghana's first destination spa and health farm and asked the Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital to assist the operators to attract more than one million patrons within the next five years.
The Vice President gave the assurance that the Government would support the efforts of private sector operators, who provide innovative services such as the health farm to address the health needs of Ghanaians.
"Collaboration on health and strong working relations are fundamental to achieving a better quality of life for the people," he stressed. "It is, therefore, necessary to build effective and long term relationships with the private sector."
The spa and health farm, he noted, could increase Ghana's tourist arrivals and foreign receipts in addition to offering a wide range of health care to locals.
Thailand for instance, made 85 million dollars from foreigners who patronised its 230 spas from June 2001 to June 2002, the Vice President said.
He, therefore, commended the owners of the ultra-modern spa and health farm, saying their efforts were in the right direction. Holy Trinity Medical Centre, Accra, owns the one million-dollar facility, sited along the Volta River at Sogakope.
Facilities include an infrared sauna, beta machines, steam shower bath, herbal shop, gymnasium, tennis court, swimming pools and other therapeutic facilities.
It is manned by skin specialists, cardiologists, rehabilitation and alternative medicine practitioners, pastors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists and other health practitioners.
Vice President Mahama, however, expressed concern about the increase in lifestyle diseases and encouraged Ghanaians to improve their nutritional status, exercise regularly, have adequate sleep and adopt positive attitudes towards health.
He said it was worrying that only about 20 per cent of the sick population (18 per cent) could readily finance their medical care and called for commitment towards the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Dr Felix Kwaku Anyah, Director General of the Holy Trinity Medical Centre, said the facility would ensure the mental, psychological, spiritual, emotional well being of Ghanaians in addition to treating diseases.
"The World Health Organisation says that one's health should not be determined only by the absence of disease but also by the mental, psychological, spiritual and emotional fitness," he remarked.
Dr Anyah urged Ghanaians to maintain good environmental and personal hygiene as a means of maintaining good health.