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Make sure you come prepared: Documentation needed when visiting a State Health Facility in SA

Make sure you come prepared: Documentation needed when visiting a State Health Facility in SA

Relocating to a new country can bring along some worries, for example health and safety concerns. One of the things I like to discover in my new surroundings is: What health services does the government have to offer?

To my surprise and relief South Africa’s public sector uses a Uniform Patient Fee Schedule, which allows the majority of the population to receive free health care.

Having experienced in the UK what free public health services can mean, I was not only curious to find out how it might go in South Africa, but also prepared for the worst.

However, I have nothing really to complain about besides that waiting times can be long – but where are they not – and that maybe those kind souls working in public services could do with an IT injection and get their documents and processes digitalised – but hey, TIA.

Within all the public services there’s one where the ‘free’ mostly succumbs: The dentist. Where in the world do you get free dental treatment? Apparently in South Africa!

Every primary healthcare clinic or centre in the Western Cape provides basic dental and oral health services free of charge: Western Cape Government Dental / Oral Health Services

I tested this at Hope Street Dental Clinic:

So far I had two small holes filled and my teeth cleaned, all free of charge.
While cleaning teeth might be a straight forward job, when it comes to fillings I’m very fussy, mostly because I never before needed one. The more I was relieved to receive top quality service. My cavities were removed and filled with white ceramic, which the doctor took special care of to sculpt back into a smooth surface. I haven’t had any further problems.

If you want to give public health services in SA a try, read my ‘Tips for going to the dentist’.


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