Health & Mental Health Services

How does the Health system in South Africa work?

In South Africa, the public healthcare system is structured in different levels:

Clinics treat common health needs, known as ‘primary health care’. Clinics refer patients to hospitals when a patient needs further treatment. Clinics are run by specially trained primary health care nurses. There are different types of clinics such as mobile and satellite clinics.

Community Health Centres are larger clinics and they usually have doctors as well as nurses.

Hospitals are for surgery, emergency treatment and serious illness that cannot be treated at the Clinic. Clinics and doctors refer patients to hospitals: individuals can only present themselves without a referral if it is an emergency.

Useful Contacts

Aids Helpline: 📞  0800 012 322

Mental Health Information Line: 📞  0800 567 567

Children’s Cancer Helpline: 📞 0800 333 0555

National Health System Ethics Line: 📞 0800 20 14 144 14

Can Asylum Seekers and Refugees access healthcare in South Africa?

Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town: Migrant And Refugee Access To Public Healthcare In South Africa

Where can Survivors of Sexual & Gender Based Violence: Gender based violence get help?

Please visit the Have you experience violence? section.

How can you get Mental Health assistance?

Suicide Risk or Attempt
For any person experiencing suicidal thoughts or for family members or individuals who may be concerned about another person experiencing or expressing suicidal thoughts
Suicide Helpline – Call: 📞 0800 029 999

Depression and Anxiety, and other mental health matters
For any person – yourself or a friend – if you are feeling sad, anxious, depressed or have any mental health concerns
Cipla SADAG 24-Hour Helpline – Call: 📞 0800 456 789 or WhatsApp: 076 882 2775

OR Contact one of our UNHCR’s partners listed in the Social Assistance section.

Related information

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