General FAQ

I want to come to your clinic for the first time. What time must I come?

For your first visit, you need to be at the clinic by 5:30am, this will ensure that you will be seen, as sometimes we have to restrict the number of patients for the day, according to the staff available. Patients are seen on a first come, first served basis. Admissions opens at 6am and closes at 2.30pm. You need to open a file and visit the HIV counselling department (you will be counselled and offered an HIV test if you do not know your HIV status or if you are negative and have not tested for longer than 6 months). You will then visit the vitals station where we check your temperature, blood pressure etc. You will then follow the queue to the general or other department, as required. Once you have been seen, you will follow the Pharmacy queue to collect any medicines if they have been prescribed.

Due to the fact that we are an NGO, you need to pay a facility fee of R110 per visit; this includes any laboratory tests and medicines.   

You are advised to bring some refreshments as the queues are quite long as there are many patients that need to be seen.

I have been told to come back in a month. What time must I come? What happens at follow up visits?

For follow up visits, you need to be at the clinic by 11am.  You need to follow the chronic queue.  This is also on a first come, first serve basis - the earlier you come, the faster you will be seen.  Because we are an NGO, we will ask you to pay a facility fee unless you are only receiving your results from previous tests.

Do I have to live in the area to attend the clinic? (I am HIV positive)

According to the current Dept.  of Health policy, HIV positive patients are encouraged to attend the clinic closest to their homes.  Witkoppen will initiate HIV positive patients on antiretroviral treatment if required, regardless of where they live.  After starting on treatment, we are advising patients to join one of the adherence clubs, this is better for the patients as they are not required to wait in long queues, they can attend a club at the venue of their choice and only have to attend the clinic a limited number of times per year for blood tests and once a year for review by a clinician.

Patients who do not join an adherence club will be transferred to their closest clinic once they are stable on treatment, except for patients of our advanced clinical care program that require specialist treatment.

Do you provide services to non-South African citizens?

We welcome people of any race, nationality or creed;  you do NOT have to be a South African citizen to attend Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre.  

I am taking ARVs. Can I come to Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre instead of my previous clinic?

We will see all patients for the first time, but we are trying to transfer out patients who stay in areas that have local clinics because of our huge patient numbers, and preference is given to patients who live close to our clinic.  If you live in another area, we will do basic tests and you can attend our clinic until your condition is stable, then we will transfer you out to the clinic nearest to you, if there is one available.  If you have moved and now live close to Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, you need to get a transfer letter from the clinic you attended before, which will have your blood results and will tell us what treatment you are on and your history.

As an NGO, we charge a facility fee per visit.  If you need a free service you should attend a government clinic.

Will I get a sick note?

According to legislation, a sick note can only be provided if the patient is too ill to work.   If you are too ill to work, you will be given a sick note.  If you visit the clinic and are able to work, you will only receive a clinic attendance note to indicate that you attended the clinic.

Can I get a full check up at the clinic?

If you would like receive a full physical, you need to be here before 6 am, get your file and pay your R110 facility fee, then follow the general queue. You will need to go for HIV counselling if you do not know your status and, if you agree, for HIV testing; and then visit the vitals station where we will check your temperature, blood pressure etc. Then you will be seen by a clinician for your check-up. If any medicines are prescribed for you, they will be dispensed for you at the pharmacy.

What happens if I am not happy or satisfied with the clinic or if I have a complaint?

We are very happy for you to bring your concerns to our attention.  There is a complaints/compliments box at various areas around the clinic.  We will investigate any complaint, follow up with you if you provide us with contact details and submit our findings to our Senior Management who meet once a month to discuss operational issues.  The outcome will be discussed with you.

Cost

How much do you charge? Do I have to have a medical aid?

We only see patients that do not have medical aid. Due to the fact that we are an NGO (not a government clinic), we do charge a fee of R110 per visit for adults, R50 for pensioners, R50 for children, R15 for family planning only and R80 for the dentist. The fee for repeat scripts is R55 for adults, R25 for children and pensioners and R50 for family planning.

Hours

What time is the clinic open? Is the clinic open on Saturdays?

Unfortunately Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre is not open on Saturdays. On Monday to Friday, our clinic opens at 6am and the patients are seen from 7:30am. Admissions closes at 2.30pm, but you are advised to come as early as possible. The clinicians leave the clinic at 4pm if they are finished seeing the patients and the Pharmacy staff leave at 6pm if they have finished dispensing all the patients' medicines.

Why was I turned away from the clinic at 10:30 if the clinic closes at 4pm?

We really apologise for any inconvenience. You are quite correct - our clinic hours are from 7:30am to 4pm. Once a patient is admitted, they are always seen on that day and not sent away at the end of the day.

However, to enable us to deliver quality care to our patients, we sometimes need to cap the amount of patients seen according to the amount of staff we have available. If we do not do this, we will be working a 24 hour shift and never go home! Staff will burn out, leave the service and our clinic will need to shut down. So unfortunately you need to come to the clinic very early to be sure that you are seen. As there are very long queues some days, we suggest you bring refreshments.

We will see emergencies even if the patient numbers have been restricted on the day.

Medicines

Can someone else collect my medicines for me?

Somebody else can collect your medicine if you only need to collect a repeat script - you will need to provide this person with a signed letter to indicate that you are giving him/her permission to collect your medication.  This is a once off arrangement and cannot be repeated.

I am leaving Johannesburg, can I come and get my medicines? What time must I come?

You need to be here before admissions closes at 2.30pm to get your file and pay your facility fee.  However, the queues can be very long and the earlier you get here, the sooner you will be seen.  If there is a prescription for your medicines in your file, you will be able to go to the pharmacy to collect them; otherwise you will need to follow the queue to see a clinician.

HIV

Do you offer free testing for HIV?

We provide HIV counselling and testing free of charge.  If the result is positive, you will need to see a clinician, for which there will be a facility fee charge of R110.  If you would like to come for an HIV test, you need to be here by 2pm to provide enough time for the counselling session and further assistance if you are positive.  Please bring refreshments as you may need to wait in the queue.

Can I have an HIV test at the weekend?

Unfortunately the clinic is closed on public holidays and during the weekend.  It is possible that some Department of Health Clinics are open on some Saturdays, for example OR Tambo clinic in Diepsloot, please contact them to confirm.  We currently have outreach programmes available in the community where you are able to test, please call 011 7052438 for more information.

Do you offer free HIV/AIDS treatment?

We provide HIV counselling and testing free of charge. If the result is positive, you will need to see a clinician, for which there will be a charge. As Witkoppen is an NGO, not a government clinic, we change a facility fee of R110 per visit, which includes any laboratory tests and medications. If you need a free service, you need to visit the government clinic nearest to you.

MMC

Do you do male circumcision?

We do not provide a circumcision service, but our building is utilized by Right to Care from Helen Joseph Hospital for male circumcisions on Saturdays once a month and sometimes more frequently.

You need to contact our info desk - 011 7052438 extension 259 and request to make an appointment.

It is important to know your HIV status before the procedure - counselling and testing will be provided.  If you are already diagnosed as HIV positive and you would like to continue with the procedure, you need your latest HIV test and your CD4 count needs to be known.

You must be 15 years or older.  This service is free of charge.  There is also a follow up visit on a Monday at our clinic.

TB

Can you test me for TB?

Yes, if we suspect you have TB, you will be seen by a clinician and we will send a sputum test to the laboratory to determine if you have TB or not.  This is the first line of screening and more effective than X-Rays.   Unfortunately we do not have X-Rays at our clinic.  If needed, we will refer you to Sandton clinic for X-Rays to be taken if the sputum test is negative.

I am already on TB treatment, can I come to your clinic?

Our clinic does provide TB treatment to patients.  If you do not live close to Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, we will do basic tests and you can attend our clinic until your condition is stable, then we will transfer you out to the clinic nearest to you, if there is one available.  If you have moved and now live close to Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, you need to get a transfer letter from the clinic you attended before, which will have your blood results and will tell us what treatment you are on and your history.  Please bring along all the medication that you take currently, as well as your green TB card.

You do not need to make an appointment, but please bring refreshments for the day as the TB Clinic is always very busy.

Dentist

Can I see a dentist at Witkoppen Clinic? How much is it to see the dentist?

A dentist comes from the Department of Health 2x a week, on Tuesday & Friday, 7:30 am - 1 pm.

The fee to see the dentist is R80. 

Must I make an appointment to see the dentist? What time must I come?

You do not need an appointment, dental services are on a first come, first served basis.  The patients queue from 6am and the dentist arrives at 9am.  You should go to the waiting area to get your file if you are an existing Witkoppen patient, or to open a file if you are a new patient, and pay the fee.

Pregnancy

When is for registration for pregnant women open? How much does this cost?

We have antenatal services from Monday to Friday. We are not open during weekends or public holidays. For the first visit you need to be at the clinic by 6 am. Please bring refreshments for breakfast and lunch as you will be at the clinic until the afternoon to complete all the necessary consultations, HIV counselling and testing, health education, examination etc. 

Due to the fact that we are an NGO (not a government clinic), we charge an administration fee of R110 each for first three visits, R55 for the 4th visit and thereafter all visits for the same pregnancy are free of charge.  

After your first visit you will be scheduled for follow up antenatal care as agreed with you. We will also assist you in registering with MomConnect, a mobile system to assist you with sms’s regarding expected progress during a normal pregnancy.

Can I deliver my baby at Witkoppen clinic?

Unfortunately we do not have facilities for you to deliver your baby at our clinic. You will be referred to Hillbrow clinic if you are a low risk patient and to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital if you have some problems with your pregnancy. The Midwife will indicate which hospital you need to attend on your carry card.

I have just found out I am pregnant, how soon should I come to the clinic?

You need to come to the clinic as possible to help ensure that you have a healthy baby.

Please see other FAQs for more information on the antenatal clinic.

STD

I think I have an std/sti (sexually transmitted disease or infection). Can I come to your clinic?

Yes, you are welcome.  You need to be here before 6 am and follow the general queue.  You will then need to go for HIV counselling if you do not know your status and visit the vitals station where we will check your temperature, blood pressure etc.  Then you will be seen by a clinician.  If any medicines are prescribed for you, they will be dispensed for you at the pharmacy.  Please bring refreshments as this is not a fast track queue.  Because we are an NGO, not a government clinic, we will ask you to pay a facility fee.

Women

Is family planning free? Or how much does it cost?

As we are an NGO, we charge a facility fee of R 110 for the first visit for family planning and R50 for repeat scripts.  Free family planning is available at the following Department of Health clinics in the vicinity: - Diepsloot South or OR Tambo in Diepsloot.    

Can I get family planning? Must I book an appointment? What time must I come?

Yes, on our family planning clinic days (Mondays and Thursdays), you will receive a full medical and an pap smear if needed. Other days you are able to obtain family planning medication only with no medical examination. You do not need to book an appointment.

The first time you come to the clinic, you should try and come early (our clinicians start working at 07:30).  You will need to open a file and pay the fee.  If you are HIV negative and your last previous test was more than 6 months previously or do not know your status you will be referred for HIV Counselling and, if you agree, for HIV Testing.  Thereafter you will visit the vitals station where we will check your temperature, blood pressure etc.  and then you will be sent to the family planning department.

On follow-up visits, you can come at any time till 15h00.  Or you can come during your lunchtime - admissions is not so busy and the family planning queue is shorter.

Can I get a pap smear?

Yes.  Pap smears are done in our Family Planning Clinic on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday until 3:30 pm - this is a fast track queue.  On Tuesdays and Fridays you will need to follow the general queue.  You don’t need to book an appointment.

I had a pap smear and they told me I need a procedure. Can you tell me more about that?

At Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre we do colposcopies and Lletz procedures. The doctor will tell you more about what to expect. At the Well Woman Clinic you will receive detailed information on the procedure and you need to book an appointment.

Do you have services to check if one has breast cancer?

Breast examinations are done in our Family Planning Clinic, available on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  You can ask the Nurse to teach you how to do a breast examination on a monthly basis.  If an abnormality is detected, you will be referred to a hospital to receive further tests.  Unfortunately, we cannot do mammograms at Witkoppen Clinic.

Mental Health

I am very depressed. Can you help me?

Yes, please contact our Mental Health clinic - call 011 705 2438 and ask for Khanyisile or email her on khanyisilem@witkoppen.co.za to make a booking to see the doctor and/or Psychologist.

I have a mental health disorder and am on chronic medication, can I come to Witkoppen Clinic?

Yes, we can help with mental health disorders (bi-polar / depression / schizophrenia etc).

The mental health clinic is on a Thursday and is managed by a Doctor.  The facility fee is R 110 per visit and this includes the medication.  We receive the medication from the government and can only prescribe what is listed on the approved list. 

Patients are seen on a first come, first served basis but in Mental Health an appointment for a specific day needs to be made to ensure that you are seen.  You should call 011 705 2438 and ask for Khanyisile or email her on khanyisilem@witkoppen.co.za, she will be able to make a booking for you for a Thursday. 

It would help us a lot if you could provide us with a referral letter and bring the medication and packaging of the medicine that you are currently using.  

Employment / Volunteer

I am looking for employment; can I send you my CV?

Yes, you are welcome to send us your CV, which we will keep on file.  Please check the website under "News" to see if there is a vacancy which you would be suited to apply for.

Do you have any jobs available?

We do recruit for vacancies from time to time, please check the website under "News" to see if there is a vacancy which you would be suited to apply for.

I want to study in the medical field, can I get work experience or job shadow at the clinic?

We will gladly accommodate you.  Please make arrangements with our Training and Mentoring Coordinator, Sandile Nkosi. You can call him on 011 7052438 or email on sandilen@witkoppen.co.za.  He will arrange for you to come to Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre and sit with the doctors and nurses during their examinations to gain knowledge, or observe in the ER and even assist in small ways.

Can I come to Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre as a volunteer?

You are welcome; we always need “extra hands".  You need to arrange this with our Human Resources Department via our Training and Mentoring Coordinator, Sandile Nkosi.  You can call him on 011 7052438 or email on sandilen@witkoppen.co.za.   You could be asked to do all sorts of tasks, for example tidying cupboard or filing.  If you need a certificate of your community hours for your school or other purpose, Sandile will arrange that for you.

If you are going to be here for any length of time, I suggest that you bring some refreshments, as there is nothing available here.

Donations

I have some adult and children's clothes to donate, would you be interested?

Yes, as long as the clothes are clean and in reasonable condition, we are very grateful for donations, which we distribute to our needy beneficiaries. Toys need to be clean, functional and have all their parts. Any donations are appreciated. We do find that toys and magazines are in high demand.