Healthcare in Johannesburg



Among the countries in the African continent, South Africa has the best standard of healthcare. In view of that, Johannesburg boasts impressive private medical facilities and highly trained South African doctors making the city's healthcare on par with any major expat destination. 

Johannesburg is an emerging medical tourism destination in South Africa, as it offers quality treatment for specialised surgeries that is only a fraction of the cost of a similar treatment in America or Europe. The medical tourism market attracts patients from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Tanzania. Expats will find that private care is widely available with competent and friendly medical staff. Hospitals often expect to receive immediate payment through cash or credit cards. Expats are advised to consult a reputable insurance provider to inquire about suitable international health insurance

Common Health Risks 

In Africa, malaria is a common disease but expats can breathe a sigh of relief since Johannesburg is far from infected areas, but still, preventive measures are advised for expats, especially during the summer season. Another medical issue is the high HIV (Human Immuno Virus) infection rate in the African continent. Diarrhoea is also one of the common problems of foreigners, even if Johannesburg boasts of a sophisticated purification system. Generally, drinking tap water is safe. 

Prior to relocating to Johannesburg, at least four to six weeks before travelling, expats should make sure all immunization records are up to date. Hepatitis B inoculate is recommended for expats bringing their children up to the age of 12. Yellow fever vaccination certificate (yellow World Health Organization vaccination record or a proof of inoculation) is required from individuals coming from infected areas. 

Private Hospitals: Best Option for Expats 

Johannesburg has a below average quality of public healthcare system that’s why even African citizens, particularly those that are well off, choose to take out private insurance which will cover their expenses in private hospitals. Expats and locals that have private insurance can have access to Johannesburg’s world-class private medical facilities where they can take advantage of 24 by seven emergency ambulance, helicopter evacuation and highly skilled specialists. Currently, Netcare is the by far the largest private hospital network in Johannesburg that is comprised of around 60 facilities across South Africa. Others are: 

Medicines and Pharmacies 

Medicine is generally affordable and most pharmacies are well stocked. Pharmacy personnel are also well trained and professional. For ambulance services, call 10177. Expats should check with the preferred health insurance provider on which private hospital offers ambulance services. Some of the pharmacies in Johannesburg are: 

  • Dis-Chem Pharmacy. Rosebank - Click & Collect Available (9am to 7pm)

237, Tsonga, Rosebank Mall, 51 Bath Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 772 1200 

  • Park Central Pharmacy

Shop 41, CBD, Johannesburg

Tel:  +27 11 333 2730 

  • Victory Pharmacy

Fox St, JHB CBD, Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 834 2109 

  • Mays Chemists Melville (8am to 9pm)

11 Main Rd, Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 726 8014 

  • Bank City Pharmacy

Shop No.C2, FNB Bank City, Pritchard St, Johannesburg

Tel: +27 11 492 1799


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