The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) has over 300 laboratories that deliver pathology services to all public clinics and hospitals. For the purposes of the NHLS’ work, the laboratories are located in six areas that are referred to as service regions, namely the Eastern Cape; Free State and North West; Gauteng; KwaZulu-Natal; Mpumalanga and Limpopo; and the Northern and Western Cape.
The six regions are purposefully designed to ensure that the NHLS plans, agrees on budgets, and monitors laboratory services jointly with provincial health partners, with the intention of laboratory services being part of the public health delivery system.
The NHLS operates in these six regions, headed by the Area Managers, with diagnostic offerings appropriate to the level of care of a particular facility (a tiered service delivery model). This tiered model requires the integration of services with continuity of patient care as patients progress from primary health care facilities to other levels of care.