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Expat Exchange - Health Care in George 2024
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Health Care in George

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: Learn about the health system in George: how it can and cannot be used by expats, nomads, retirees and others moving to and living in George.

The healthcare system in George, is a blend of public and private healthcare services. The public healthcare system, known as the National Health Insurance (NHI), is available to all residents, including foreigners, while the private healthcare system is primarily used by those who can afford it.

South Africa's Healthcare System

The public healthcare system in South Africa, the National Health Insurance (NHI), is designed to provide universal health coverage to all South Africans. It is used by both locals and foreigners, including expats and digital nomads. However, the public hospitals in George, like many other parts of South Africa, are often overcrowded and under-resourced, leading to long waiting times. Therefore, they are not typically recommended for serious medical emergencies or major surgeries. On the other hand, the private healthcare system is well-resourced and provides high-quality care. Expats primarily use private hospitals, and these are recommended for serious medical emergencies and major surgeries. Private hospitals in George offer a more comfortable and efficient experience compared to public hospitals.

Hospitals and Clinics for Expats in George

  • Mediclinic George: A private hospital located in the heart of George.
  • Life Bay View Private Hospital: Another private hospital in George, known for its excellent emergency services.
  • George Regional Hospital: A public hospital in George, it is the primary healthcare facility for locals.
In case of specialized medical care or surgeries, expats often travel to Cape Town, which is approximately a 4-hour drive from George. Cape Town has a number of world-class private hospitals such as the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital.

Emergency Services in George

George has ambulance services available for emergencies. The emergency number to call for an ambulance is 10177. However, like many parts of South Africa, there can sometimes be delays due to traffic or high demand for services.

Health Insurance Companies in George

Discovery Health and Momentum Health are two of the most popular private health insurers in George. They offer a range of plans to suit different needs and budgets. However, many expats and digital nomads opt for specialized expat health insurance providers, which offer coverage that is more tailored to their unique needs, such as international coverage and evacuation services.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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