Department of Health: About Us

Health facilities Core Functions and Responsibilities

The core function and responsibility of the Western Cape Department of Health is to deliver a comprehensive package of health services to the people of the province.

Quality health for all.

We undertake to provide equitable access to quality health services in partnership with the relevant stakeholders within a balanced and well managed health system.

The overarching values identified by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape are:

  • Caring
  • Competence
  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Responsiveness

Summary of the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health Services:

Primary Health Care Services - 479 facilities in 32 sub-districts and six districts (five rural districts and four sub-structures in the district of metropolitan Cape Town)

Hospital Services

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - 50 ambulance stations with 251 ambulances

Forensic Pathology Services - 18 mortuaries and 46 response vehicles

Training for health care workers and professionals (in conjunction with universities)

Regulation of private hospitals in the province

The Following Free Services are Offered to All (Excluding Medical Aid Patients)

  • Family planning services
  • Infectious diseases management
  • Termination of pregnancies
  • Legal services related to medical attention
  • Oral (dental) health services (scholars and mobile clinics only)
  • Immunisations
  • Primary health care services
  • Antiretroviral (ARV) services for AIDS patients

The Following Categories of People are Entitled to Free Medical Services:

  • Children under the age of six years
  • Pregnant women
  • Involuntary (certified) psychiatric patients
  • Children attending school who are referred to hospitals
  • Hospital personnel employed before 1976
  • Children who have been placed in care
  • Boarders, live-in children and babies, relatives and donors
  • People receiving social grants/pensions
  • Formally unemployed people

HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) Campaign 
The Western Cape Department of Health has embarked on an HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign (HCT) which will encourage people to know their status.

The key components of the campaign prioritise actions to prevent transmission of HIV and the treatment and care of citizens affected.

The intension is to mobilise all people to know their status, by engaging all public and private partners to join hands and reach set targets. The agreed target for the Western Cape is 1 100 000 individuals aged 12 years and older who are sexually active.

Contact the department for further information.