Patient journey

When it comes to your health you expect the very best care. At Netcare we are committed to providing our patients with high quality care – whether you are a member of a medical scheme or paying privately. We understand that admission to hospital can be a physically and emotionally stressful time for you and your family, and our goal is to exceed your needs and expectations whilst adhering strictly to medical best-practice standards.
The patient administrators and other staff at our Netcare hospitals strive to ensure that your stay in hospital will be as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
Netcare’s on-going investment in cutting-edge medical technology and training, together with a quest to deliver superior clinical care, ensure that our service and healthcare outcomes equate to the best in the world.
We look forward to being of service to you, and thank you for entrusting us with your care. We wish you a speedy and full recovery!

Pre-admission

Pre-admission procedures for medical scheme patients 

When visiting a pre-admission centre at one of our hospitals, please ensure that you have your identity document and medical scheme membership card on hand. Our pre-admission patient administrator will guide you through our admission process and will assist you with the completion of the necessary documentation to ensure a hassle-free admission process.

If you are a member of a medical scheme, note that all medical schemes require their members to obtain authorisation prior to hospital admission. Failing to obtain pre-authorisation from your medical scheme will mean that you personally will be liable for any shortfalls or penalties on your hospital bill.

To obtain authorisation, you will need to provide your medical scheme with a written medical diagnosis and code (ICD10 and CPT4) for your admission, as well as the practice number of the specialist under whose care you will be admitted.  If you are scheduled for a procedure you will also require a description of the surgical procedure that will be performed as well as a code (CPT4).

The doctor admitting you to hospital should provide you with these details. Our patient administrators will also require this information for your admission process. 

Our pre-admission patient administrator can facilitate the request to your medical scheme for authorisation of your hospitalisation, or guide you on how to obtain authorisation for your hospital admission from your medical scheme.

As member of a medical scheme it is important to remember that it is your responsibility to ensure the following:

  • You are aware of your benefits, co-payments, limits, exclusions and waiting periods
  • You understand which items and procedures will not be covered by your medical scheme
  • You are familiar with the amount available in your savings benefit
  • You know of any preferred or designated service provider agreements and how it will affect the cover provided by your medical scheme if you choose to use the services of non-designated service providers
  • You are a valid member and all your premiums are up to date

We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the rules of your medical scheme when obtaining pre-authorisation for your admission to hospital. Please confirm with your medical scheme whether any levies, co-payments or exclusions may apply, and whether there are any aspects of your treatment for which you personally will be liable for payment.

The hospitalisation costs for patients who belong to medical schemes are charged in accordance with Netcare tariffs. These tariffs are negotiated on an annual basis with the respective registered schemes. The hospital account is normally sent directly to the medical aid scheme for payment. You as member, however, remain responsible for this account, especially in cases where medical schemes fail to pay the account or only partially settle the account. Our pre-admission patient administrator will also advise you on the financial considerations with regard to your procedure and/or treatment.

Please ask our pre-admission staff for any assistance you may require, or access our online pre-admission portal for further information. Your cooperation in terms of obtaining authorisation and clarifying co-payment terms will ensure a quicker and more efficient admission process.

Pre-admission procedures for private patients

We recommended that private patients follow our pre-admission procedure which will enable a smooth admission process.

Netcare offers affordable quality healthcare, and is committed to the objectives of the ‘Triple Aim’, which combines cost-effective and patient-centred care with the best clinical outcomes. Netcare bills private patients on a fee for service basis and this only includes hospital related services. It is important for you to note that all other services rendered, inter alia by doctors, pathologists, radiologists, and any other service providers such as physiotherapists, will be billed independently by the service providers. 

Private patients need to discuss the total estimated cost of their planned hospital stay with their admitting doctor as well as the Netcare patient administration department of the hospital to which they will be admitted, prior to their admission. 

An estimated cost will be calculated for the procedure (where relevant) and hospital stay. A pre-payment covering the estimated cost will be required before admission.  It is important to note that the estimated amount is not a fixed or final quote as there may be variables billed against the hospitalisation that will influence the final amount. Should your account exceed the estimated amount during your hospital stay, you may be required to make further interim payments.  If the pre-payment is more than the final hospital bill, you will be refunded.

Click here for information on our tariffs for private patients.

Pre-admission procedures for international patients

At Netcare we understand that seeking medical treatment outside your home country can be a stressful experience.

Throughout our website, you will find information about our specialties, doctors, and hospitals. Should you be considering a Netcare hospital as your destination of choice for medical care, take the time to discover our technologies, competencies, services, and facilities we offer.

In case you are interested in a hospital offering a certain specialisation but are unsure if your choice, we invite you to get in touch with us for more guidance. You will find our contact details on the Contact us page on this website. The patient administrators at our Netcare hospitals will do their utmost to ensure that you will feel at home during your hospitalisation.

Netcare offers affordable quality healthcare, and is committed to the objectives of the ‘Triple Aim’, which combines cost-effective and patient-centred care with the best clinical outcomes. Netcare bills international patients on a fee for service basis and this only includes hospital related services. All other services rendered, inter alia by doctors, pathologists, radiologists, and any other service providers such as physiotherapists, will be billed independently by the service providers. 

Click here for information on our tariffs for international patients.

Online pre-admission 

If you do not have the time to personally visit one of our pre-admission centres, you can complete your pre-admission documentation online. You should, however, do this at least 48 hours before your planned admission.

Our secure online pre-admission form offers you the following benefits:

  • The convenience of providing us with information about yourself at a time that suits you, and in the comfort of your own home or office, whilst allowing our patient administrators to collect as much information as possible in advance to speed up your admission process and make it more efficient.
  • Your information remains available for any subsequent admissions. You will only need to access your profile by logging in to the online pre-admission page and re-submit your updated information for each new procedure.

Click here to register to complete and submit your pre-admission documentation online, or to log in if you have registered before.

For detailed information on the documentation you should have on hand to complete your pre-admission online, as well on how the online pre-admission process works, Click here

Preparing for admission

How you prepare for your stay in hospital will depend on the treatment or operation you require as well as on you as a unique individual. We trust that the following guidelines will assist you in preparing for your hospital stay and what to expect during your stay and treatment.

Drinking and smoking

As a rule, you should not drink alcohol the day before your admission and, if you are a smoker, you should try to give up or cut down as much as possible, especially if you will be having a general anaesthetic.

Fasting

Take note of the fasting (not eating or drinking) requirements if you will be having anaesthesia, as your safety and comfort is important to us. Your doctor will provide guidelines for fasting prior to surgery. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in a delay or even cancellation of your surgery.

Medication prior to admissions

Should you be taking medication routinely (e.g. for epilepsy, hypertension or diabetes) you should confirm with your surgeon in advance whether or not you should take the medication on the day of surgery. If you take blood thinners (such as Warfarin or Plavin), you should ask your surgeon how many days before the scheduled surgery you should refrain from taking it or whether you should be reducing the dosage before your admission.

For more information, click here for our Guide on medication prior to admission.

Herbal remedies and any traditional medicine must be stopped at least 10 to 14 days prior to surgery. These include but are not limited to: Arnica, Feverfew, Ginkgo, Garlic, Ginger, Ginseng, Meadowsweet, Danshen, Devil’s Claw, Papaya, St John’s Wart, Tamarind, Dongquai and Pulmonaria mollissima.

What to bring for your stay in hospital

You need to bring the following items for your stay in hospital:

  • All x-rays or other diagnostic scans and/or blood test results relating to your condition
  • Toiletries if you will be staying overnight
  • Any chronic medication which you are taking. These should be handed to the unit manager of the ward where you will be staying
  • Sleepwear, slippers or shoes if you will be hospitalised for a few days or more
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Reading material
  • A favourite toy or blanket for infants or younger children
  • Nappies and any special toiletries for babies and toddlers, if required.

Please note that you will need to remove all make-up and nail polish prior to anaesthesia, so you should preferably remove any nail polish prior to your admission.

What not to bring to hospital

 Cellular phones

Cellular phones are unfortunately easy targets for theft.  You are requested to be considerate towards other patients in the ward as the use of cellular phones could be disruptive to them. Also please note that cellular phones can interfere with certain electronic equipment used in the wards, intensive care units and operating theatres or other specialised facilities.

Money and other valuables

We strongly advise you to leave valuables such as jewellery, cash and credit cards at home, or ask your family to take it home. Some of our hospitals have safety deposit boxes available at reception for use on a first come first served basis.

Admission

On the day of your admission, you should report to the hospital’s reception desk at the time recommended by your doctor. Our hospital admission personnel are committed to providing you with an efficient service and will assist you with the regulatory documentation. If you have visited our pre-admission centre prior to your admission date, kindly proceed to the speed queue, where available, upon your arrival.

You need to bring the following important items with you for your admission to hospital:

Medical scheme patients

  • Medical scheme membership card
  • Proof of identity of the patient as well as of the principal member of the medical scheme
    • A South African identity document or passport is acceptable
  • A patient under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, who will be required to give written consent for administration of anaesthesia  as well as to accept liability of the account.

Private patients

For admission to hospital, we will require the following of you:

  • Proof of identity of the patient as well as of the person responsible for paying the hospital account:
    • A South African identity document or passport is acceptable
  • A patient under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, who will be required to give written consent for administration of anaesthesia as well as to accept liability of the account.
  • Proof of pre-payment, or payment covering the estimated cost of the hospitalisation.

International patients

Upon arrival at the hospital for a planned procedure, you will be required to:

  • show your passport at the reception counter;
  • complete your patient registration with our hospital;
  • present a membership card that indicates the details of the international insurance company – including the company name, logo, contact details, member details, dependent codes, member identification number or date of birth and patient plan; and
  • present a letter of guarantee, which you should obtain from the funder or insurance company on or before admission to the hospital.  The authorisation should detail the maximum benefits available and confirm your membership.  Any additional information such as co-payments, exclusions, deductibles, limits and late authorisation penalties due by the member should be indicated on the letter of guarantee.

Emergency admissions for hospitalisation 

Private patients

Netcare will assist private patients in need of life-threatening emergency care and they will be treated according to our patient charter.  Patients will, however, remain liable for the account.

International patients

Netcare will assist international visitors to South Africa and other international patients in obtaining authorisation for unscheduled emergency admissions to our hospitals. Patients will, however, remain liable for the account until such time as the letter of guarantee is issued.

Netcare terms and conditions

Click here for detailed information on Netcare’s terms and conditions regarding hospitalisation.

Going to the ward

From admissions, our staff will direct you to the relevant ward. Wheelchairs are available at reception for patients who may need assistance.

Admission of a newborn baby

Medical scheme patients

In the unfortunate event that your newborn baby is to be admitted to our hospital, the following information is crucial to ensure the registration process is successful, and the invoice will be settled by your medical scheme.

  • Medical schemes require that you register your baby with the relevant scheme as a dependant within 30 days of birth.  Note this registration does not refer to the Home Affairs birth registration process.  You as the parent remains responsible at all times to ensure that your baby is registered with the relevant medical scheme and is a valid dependent from date of birth.
  • If your baby requires admission and treatment for care, the hospital requires proof of registration within 14 working days from birth. This will ensure that authorisation for your baby’s hospitalisation can be obtained and he account will be paid in full.
  • In the case of an employer contributing to the medical scheme, the registration process of a new dependent on your medical scheme will be managed through the employer.  However, you need to notify the employer of the details and follow-up with the employer to ensure that the registration process is followed and that your baby has been registered.
  • It remains your responsibility to ensure that the registration process was finalised and the baby was accepted as a dependent on your medical scheme.
  • Should the baby be a dependant of a dependant (in the case where the mother is still a dependant on her parents medical aid – e.g. on the baby’s grandparents’ medical scheme), you need to enquire from the main member’s medical scheme whether they will accept the new baby as a dependant, as some medical schemes have strict criteria that first need to be met before they will consider registering the baby as a dependant.
  • Please ensure that the registered date with the relevant medical scheme is the date of birth of your baby, as incorrect dates may result in non-payment of hospital bills.
  • The hospital receptionist can provide you with a form, which you as parent/s should complete, to enable the hospital to capture the admission details correctly for your baby’s admission.  The hospital will notify the relevant medical scheme that the baby was admitted, but it is important to note that the authorisation and benefits will be pending until you have successfully registered your baby to the medical scheme.
  • Also note that, should no proof of registration be provided within the required time, the hospital may request a security deposit from you until such time as proof of registration is provided.

Your hospital stay

Case management of medical scheme patients

During your hospital stay, it is important that our case managers, who are professional nurses, are informed of any additional procedure you might have to undergo prior to it being undertaken by your surgeon. They will maintain close contact with your medical scheme or your private insurer to notify them of any new procedures you may require or if you have to be transferred to a specialised unit, in order to ensure that your hospitalisation costs will be covered.

Case management of private patients

Our patient administration staff will give you an update on the status of your account on a daily basis. Should your account exceed the pre-payment you have made prior to your admission, you may be required to make further interim payments during your hospital stay. 

Remember that the hospital account does not include any costs for services rendered by your doctor, anaesthetist, radiology and pathology practices and other service providers such as physiotherapists, as all of them are independent practitioners operating for their own accounts.

Firearms

No firearms are permitted on the hospital premises. Patients and their visitors are requested to please leave their firearms at home.

Infection prevention and control

All Netcare hospitals have implemented strict measures for preventing cross infections and patients and visitors are urged to comply with these measures. We encourage you and your visitors to wash your hands properly to prevent the spread of infections. Visitors are requested to use the hand rub, which is strategically placed throughout our hospitals, on their arrival and departure.

Parents and relatives of patients who are hospitalised with infectious conditions are requested to comply with infection control measures for their own and others’ safety.

Liability for lost or stolen items

Netcare will not be held responsible for any losses that may occur and as such no claims for misplaced or lost items will be considered. However, in the unfortunate event of a lost item, kindly report it to the unit manager as soon as you discover it.

Patient feedback

We value feedback from you and your loved ones, as this enables us to keep in touch with our patients’ needs and expectations, and to improve the quality of our care as and where needed. It also gives us the opportunity to acknowledge staff members who provide patients with quality, compassionate care and excellent service.

During your hospital stay you will be offered the opportunity to rate or service by means of our iPad patient feedback system, and we encourage you to do so. You and/or your family members are also welcome to raise any concerns you may have with the unit manager of the ward where you are staying, or to ask to speak with a member of our hospital’s customer care team. Raising any concerns with us while you are still in hospital makes it possible for us to address them promptly .

Patient privacy

At Netcare hospitals, we respect the privacy of our patients. No information will be released over the telephone to strangers. Your immediate relatives will therefore need to share information regarding your health with friends and colleagues.

Security

In the interest of the safety and security, our hospitals are monitored by various types of electronic surveillance equipment. In addition, there are clearly identifiable security personnel in strategic positions throughout the hospital and the hospital grounds.  They are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the hospital, our patients, visitors, doctors and personnel.

Smoking

In accordance with South African legislation, all Netcare hospitals have adopted a clean-air policy. This means that smoking is not permitted in the hospital. If you or your visitors wish to smoke, you  may only do so within the designated smoking areas.

Visiting times and restrictions

Note that the visiting times, restrictions and resting times may differ from hospital to hospital, and may furthermore differ for specific wards within a hospital. We kindly request visitors not to visit patients during patients’ official ’resting period’.

Detailed information about visiting times and restrictions applicable in each of our hospitals is featured on the each of their dedicated web pages. Please visit the ‘Hospitals’ section on our website to obtain information, or consult the notice boards at our hospitals or the unit managers of specific wards in this regard.

In accordance with the regulations provided by the Department of Health for infection control purposes, we unfortunately do not allow children under the age of 12 years to visit paediatric patients. Furthermore only two visitors at at time may visit a patient in an intensive ward. Likewise, we don’t allow visitors to bring pets into our hospitals.

We request that only immediate family members visit patients in ICU and to note that our staff may at times ask visitors to leave the unit at any time should it be necessary to perform any nursing procedures. Due to the nature of the intensive care required by patients, visitors are requested to inform the staff when entering the unit. Kindly obtain permission from the ICU staff to visit your loved one and take cognisance of their recommendations regarding time spent at the patient’s bedside. Also note that no flowers are permitted in the ICU.

Compensation for occupational injuries

In the unfortunate event where an employee has been injured on duty or has contracted a disease arisen out of and in the course of his or her employment, this may be covered by the Compensation Fund.

Please note that there are minimum requirements to be met before a claim can be registered with the Compensation Fund. Upon admission of a COID patient, the following documentation is required:

  • Certified copy of ID (SA citizens) or passport/ asylum seekers permit (non-SA citizens)
    • Please note driver licences are not accepted
    • Temporary IDs are not accepted
  • Valid work permit (non-SA citizens)
  • Employers report of an accident (WCL 2)
  • First medical report (WCL 4 ) – this will be provided by the treating doctor
  • Occupational diseases form (WCL 1) – where applicable
  • Re-opening letter (in case of an injury older than two years)
  • Additional documentation and forms may be requested by the hospital where needed.

In case the case where employers are exempted from the Compensation Fund (‘exempted employers’), additional documentation may be required.

Claims with the Compensation Fund first have to be registered and liability accepted by them before the Fund will pay any account.  It remains the responsibility of the employer, as per the COID Act, to follow up and ensure that the process is followed as gazetted, until the claim is accepted and paid accordingly to the service provider.

Patients in need of life-threatening emergency care will be treated and stabilised before the doctor treating the patient in the emergency department will make an informed decision with regard to admission or possible transfer to a public hospital.

Discharge

It is important to us that you know what to expect and how to take care of yourself after you’ve been discharged from hospital and are continuing your recovery at home. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask a member of our staff to assist you with the necessary information or advice if you have any questions or concerns.

Only the doctor responsible for your treatment may authorise your discharge from hospital, but our nursing staff will assist you in this process.

Steps to follow before you leave the hospital

  • You will be asked by the ward staff to sign a number of documents. Please ensure that you sign all the documents before leaving the ward.
  • Ensure also that you take any x-rays or scans that were done during your hospital stay with you. Note that these may be in digital format.
  • After leaving the ward, you need to present your discharge form/card which will be given to you by the ward staff, at the main hospital reception.
  • Medical scheme payments will be required to settle any outstanding payments required by your medical scheme, as well as any fees not covered by the scheme, such as private room fees.
  • Private patient will be required to settle their outstanding hospital bill, as applicable. The following payment methods are available for settling the hospital bill: cash, internet transfer and debit or credit cards.
  • If your doctor has prescribed medication for you to take home,  collect it from the hospital pharmacy.
    • Please note that certain medical schemes do not allow that the take home medicine issued to a patient be charged as part of the hospital account, or may limit this benefit to a few days’ medication only.
    • Should this be the case the medicine may be dispensed from your acute benefit which could incur a levy for which you will be personally liable to pay.
    •  If you do not have sufficient funds available when you leave the hospital this levy may be charged to the private portion of your hospital account.
    • If you are unable to afford the prescribed medication on discharge it is important that you inform your treating doctor of this.
  • Ensure that you have been given written information from either your doctor or the hospital about the possible symptoms or health problems that you should look out for after your discharge, so that you can seek prompt advice and not compromise your recovery, should you experience any such symptoms or health problems.
    • If you have not received such information please request this from either your doctor or the nursing staff.
  • Your doctor will probably ask you to book a follow-up appointment with him or her, and you may therefore want to go to your doctor’s consulting room to book the appointment before you leave the hospital. If your doctor has not asked you to make a follow-up appointment, we suggest that you ask him or her whether a follow-up consultation is needed, and how long after your discharge this should be.
Recovering at home
  • If you are concerned about your condition or recovery at any time after your discharge, please do not hesitate to call your doctor or go to your nearest emergency department for assistance.

General information regarding possible symptoms or health problems to look out for after your discharge:

Post-discharge surveys

  • We would appreciate your feedback on your hospital experience. Netcare will email you a survey that should take you less than five minutes to complete. Participating in our electronic post-discharge survey will assist us in evaluating the care you received at our hospital.
  • Your feedback is important as it keeps us abreast of our patients' needs and expectations and enables us to improve the quality of our care as and where needed. It also gives us the opportunity to acknowledge staff members who provide patients with quality, compassionate care and excellent service.
We thank you for having chosen our hospital for your treatment and wish you a speedy and full recovery.