Who pays what at clinics and hospitals?

The Uniform Patient Fee Schedule sets out who must pay for certain services at a South African health facility, which is explained in the Classification of Patients for the Determination of Fees. Note that fees are not payable for “free services”.6

In short, the following non-nationals should be means-tested (in the same way as South African citizens) at the hospital:

  • Non-South Africans who have permanent or temporary residency in a passport, and
  • Anyone from the SADC region who is undocumented.7

The hospital looks at what they earn and decides what fee they should pay. Remember (as we stated above) that refugees and asylum seekers are subject to the same test; the hospital decides what level of fee they must pay depending on their income.

It means that the following people will have to pay full fees at the healthcare facility, and cannot access a means-test:

  • Undocumented people from outside the SADC region,
  • people on a tourist/visitor’s visa.