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 servicesThe 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