Patient rights

Your right to healthcare services

We are committed to the Patient Rights Charter as quoted here:

For many decades the vast majority of the South African population has experienced either a denial or violation of fundamental human rights, including rights to healthcare services. To ensure the realisation of the right of access to healthcare services as guaranteed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No 108 of 1996), the Department of Health is committed to upholding, promoting and protecting this right and therefore proclaims this Patient Rights Charter as a common standard for achieving the realisation of this right.

This Charter is subject to the provisions of any law operating within the Republic of South Africa and to the financial means of the country.


    Everyone has the right to a healthy and safe environment that will ensure their physical and mental health or well-being, including adequate water supply, sanitation and waste disposal as well as protection from all forms of environmental danger, such as pollution, ecological degradation or infection.


    Every citizen has the right to participate in the development of health policies and everyone has the right to participate in decision-making on matters affecting one’s health.

Access to healthcare

Everyone has the right of access to healthcare services that include:

  • Receiving timely emergency care at any healthcare facility that is open regardless of one's ability to pay;

  • Treatment and rehabilitation that must be made known to the patient to enable the patient to understand such treatment or rehabilitation and the consequences thereof;

  • Provision for special needs in the case of newborn infants, children, pregnant women, the aged, disabled persons, patients in pain, person living with HIV or AIDS patients; Counselling without discrimination, coercion or violence on matters such as reproductive health, cancer or HIV/AIDS;

  • Palliative care that is affordable and effective in cases of incurable or terminal illness;

  • A positive disposition displayed by healthcare providers that demonstrate courtesy, human dignity, patience, empathy and tolerance; and

  • Health information that includes the availability of health services and how best to use such services and such information shall be in the language understood by the patient.

Your rights as a patient

Knowledge of one’s health insurance / medical aid scheme

A member of a health insurance or medical aid scheme is entitled to information about that insurance or medical aid scheme and to challenge, where necessary, the decisions of such health insurance or medical aid scheme relating to the member.

Choice of health services

Everyone has the right to choose a particular healthcare provider for services or a particular health facility for treatment provided that such choice shall not be contrary to the ethical standards applicable to such healthcare providers or facilities, and the choice of facilities in line with prescribed service delivery guide lines.

Be treated by a named healthcare provider

Everyone has the right to know the person that is providing healthcare and therefore must be attended to by clearly identified healthcare providers.

Confidentiality and privacy

Information concerning one’s health, including information concerning treatment may only be disclosed with informed consent, except when required in terms of any law or an order of the court.

Informed consent

Everyone has the right to be given full and accurate information about the nature of one’s illnesses, diagnostic procedures, the proposed treatment and the costs involved, for one to make a decision that affects anyone of these elements.

Refusal of treatment

A person may refuse treatment and such refusal shall be verbal or in writing provided that such refusal does not endanger the health of others.

Be referred for a second opinion

Everyone has the right to be referred for a second opinion on request to a health provider of one’s choice.

Continuity of care

No one shall be abandoned by a healthcare professional worker or a health facility which initially took responsibility for one’s health.

Complain about health services

Everyone has the right to complain about healthcare services and to have such complaints investigated and to receive a full response on such investigation.

Responsibilities of the patient

Every patient or client has the
following responsibilities

  • To advise the healthcare providers on his or her wishes with regard to his or her death.

  • To enquire about the related costs of treatment and/or rehabilitation and to arrange for payment.

  • To take care of his or her health.

  • To respect the rights of other patients and health providers.

  • To provide healthcare providers with the relevant and accurate information for diagnostic, treatment, rehabilitation or counselling purposes.

  • To comply with the prescribed treatment or rehabilitation procedures.

  • To take care of health records in his or her possession.

  • To care for and protect the environment.

  • To utilise the healthcare system properly and not abuse it.

  • To know his or her local health services and what they offer.

MyNetcare Online

MyNetcare Online is a secure portal that has been created to enable your personal healthcare management.

Using the online tools on the portal, you can provide Netcare with your relevant personal information as well as that of your dependants, update these personal profiles at any time, and conveniently do pre-admissions to a Netcare hospital when it suits you.

You can also request Netcare appointmed™ to book appointments for you or your loved ones with specialists, GPs, and dentists at Netcare hospitals, Netcare Medicross, and Netcare Akeso countrywide.