Emergencies and Medical Services

Emergencies and Medical Services

It was with a heavy heart that we decided to pull the plug on PhilGuides Southern Africa, it was a passion project and circumstances beyond our control made it impossible to continue. We saved all the information and carried it here. Geraldine and Pascal will try to keep it up to date and add more information as time goes by, you may even find a tour or two in the future.

  • Ambulances and medical emergency services
    • 10 177 [State]
    • 082 911 [Netcare]
    • 084 124 [ER24]
  • Police 10 111 or on your mobile 112
  • Fire brigade 10 177

It is always a good idea to take the travel insurance when travelling abroad, irrespective of which country you visit. Services like Europe Assistance are of great help in case of catastrophes. If you pay for your travel with a credit card, check with your credit card company, sometimes they include it in their fees.

Read your insurance policy carefully, take note of the procedures to claim or contact your insurance from abroad, this may save you time and make the process more comfortable for you.

Should you have a problem while on the road, most hotels and lodges have Doctors on call. If you have an incident at an airport, most airports have emergency services at your disposal.


Should you have forgotten something or need something from the pharmacy, there are pharmacies everywhere around the country, look for a large shopping centre, and you will probably find one, most major airports also have pharmacies.

South African Schedule 3 medications and above will require a script by a South African registered doctor. Please ensure that if you are on chronic medication that you bring a letter from your doctor confirming that the medicine is chronic, is for you and that the amount you have brought with you is what you need for the duration of your trip.

State hospitals versus private clinics

We recommend avoiding state hospitals.  Most often there are long waiting times, and you may find yourself not receiving the proper treatment for your ailment. Our state hospitals are often overcrowded and understaffed, resulting in lousy service.

If you are well insured, going to a private clinic is the best option. These are generally better equipped and staffed with doctors that rely on their reputations to make a living.

Many around the world come to South Africa to have procedures done in our private clinics, testifying the quality of our doctors. Your travel insurer would be able to guide you to the right clinic for your area.