Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city?
No international immunization is needed when entering South Africa or the Western Cape. The only inoculation requirement is a yellow fever vaccination certificate from travelers over one year old entering South Africa within six days of leaving an infected country. Visitors who travel through or disembark in these areas are advised to be inoculated against the disease before visiting South Africa.
Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat?
It is strongly advised that you have your own medical insurance in place before entering South Africa. The government hospitals are not always up-to-date with regard to services and equipment and the service is very slow. With that said, unless you are close to death, it can take several hours before you are attended to and service is provided, based on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you have medical insurance you may go to any private hospital and they are very efficient and up-to-date with all medical services and equipment. Also, you get attended to much quicker than going to a government hospital.
What is the word for "doctor" in the local language?
In South Africa, the word for "doctor" is pronounced the same in English and Afrikaans. However, in English it is spelled doctor, and in Afrikaans it is spelled dokter.
What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider?
The best way to locate a suitable health care provider is by phoning the nearest Medi-Clinic or looking under "Medical" in the local telephone directory. Other ways would be to contact your insurance carrier or your expat coordinator.
Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go?
Most expats are able to find good medical care within South Africa, particularly if they use private hospitals.
What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police.
Below are telephone numbers that will connect you to help in case of an emergency:
All Emergencies: 107
- Ambulance: 10177 or 1022
- Cell phone users: Dial 112 (operator will redirect call)
- Mountain Rescue Service: +021 948 9900
- Police Flying Squad: 10111
- Fire Rescue: 535 1100
- Rape Crisis: +021 471 467 or +021 447 9762 or +083 222 5158
- Crime Stop: 0800 11 12 13
- Life Line - after hours: 0800 01 23 22
- Sea Rescue Service: +021 405 3500
- Aviation Rescue Service: +021 937 1116
- Tourism Assistance SA Police: +021 421 5115
- Automobile Association: 0800 010101
- Red Cross Children’s Hospital: +021 658 5111
- Family Planning: +021 460 9100
- Child & Family Unit: +021 685 4103
- Child Guidance Clinic: +021 650 3900
- Child Protection Unit: +021 592 2601
- Alcohol Counseling: +021 233 412
What do I do if there's an emergency in the middle of the night—or at another time when my normal doctor/clinic is unavailable?
You may dial either 107 or 082911. You will be connected to the Western Cape Trauma Link, which will provide you with emergency medical advice and assistance. You can also phone your nearest Medi-Clinic or private hospital at 0800-222 301.
How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language?
Most pharmacies have either Pharmacy or Chemist on the outside of the building. You can find them in either medical centers or shopping malls.
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, the tap water in the Western Cape is well treated and is safe to drink. However, distilled and bottled water is readily available at shops, restaurants, cafes and guest houses or hotels. Generally, you are not charged for a glass of tap water at restaurants.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.