Diagnostic Services



The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) is the sole provider of diagnostic pathology services to the public sector in South Africa. As such, the NHLS provides  these services across the country at all tiers of health service delivery, covering over 80% of the population.  NHLS diagnostic laboratories are found in provincial and district hospitals in large metropolitan centres and remote rural areas as well as in the teaching hospitals of university medical schools.

Scope of services

The NHLS plays a major role in:
  • public health in South Africa through epidemiology, surveillance and outbreak response activities
  • the national HIV and AIDS treatment programme through CD4 testing, viral load studies and HIV treatment monitoring
  • tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment monitoring
  • screening for cervical cancer
  • support of occupational health services

Paternity testing

Paternity/parentage as well as kinship testing is undertaken by the National Health Laboratory Service at the Braamfontein, University of Pretoria and University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus)  laboratories.

Diagnostic Media Products

Diagnostic Media Products (DMP) is the main supplier of media and reagents to NHLS laboratories. DMP also supplies its products to private laboratories in South Africa and laboratories in some African countries.