General FAQ

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

For your first visit, you will need to be at the clinic by at least 6am. This will ensure that you will be attended to.  In some cases, we have to restrict the number of patients for the day according to availability of staff. Patients are seen on a first come, first serve basis. Admissions open at 6:00am and close at 3.30pm. You are advised to bring refreshments as the queues are quite long. Please be patient as there many people who require assistance.

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?

No, but a certificate of attendance is issued if requested.

Can I get a full check up at the clinic?

Yes, for all primary health services rendered, including but not and limited to HIV/TB screening, non-communicable diseases, emergency care, see more information on our services here: http://www.witkoppen.org/Patient-Centre/Services-Provided 

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.

Where are you located?

Our main facility is situated at 105 William Nicol Drive, Fourways, Johannesburg. We also have three community-based satellite sites in the informal settlements of Msawawa, Thabo Mbeki and Diepsloot.

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

Witkoppen Centre is not open on Saturdays. We are open from 6:00am until the last patient is seen, Monday to Friday. Patients are seen from 7:30am. Admissions close at 3.30pm. You are advised to come as early as possible to avoid long queues. The pharmacy staff leave at 6pm or after 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?

Official clinic hours are from 6:00am until 4:30pm. We do not turn patients away.

I have an urgent medical problem; will you be able to see me if the clinic is full?

Emergency patients are always fast-tracked irrespective of patient numbers.

How much does it cost?

Your first visit is free. Following that, each visit is R70 for adults and R50 for children. Pensioners and people with disabilities receive services free of charge. This fee includes any laboratory tests and medication.

Do you accept medical aid?

We see all patients irrespective whether you are on medical aid or not.

Is it possible to change my appointment with the doctor?

Yes, it is. Please call us on 011 705 2438 and asked to speak to Aubrey or Nadia to arrange a new appointment. You can also email us on info@witkoppen.co.za.

I have a ganglion on my right hand and need an operation to remove it. Can you assist?

A ganglion requires surgery. Witkoppen does not do surgery at its facility in Fourways; however if you come for a consultation, our doctors will examine you and determine if the diagnosis is correct and if so refer to hospital for the surgery.We don’t do procedures at our Centre. You can come in for an assessment and we will refer you to surgical outpatients at the hospital nearest to you.

Do you do brain scans at your Centre?

No, we do not have any x-ray facilities. Usually a person is referred for a brain scan by a specialist doctor to a specific facility. We suggest that you consult with a doctor.

I am not happy or satisfied with the clinic and I have a complaint

There are complaints boxes throughout various service points across the clinic. Complaints can be reported to any HOD or Reception Supervisor at Witkoppen. Feedback will be communicated once a proper investigation is concluded and corrective action taken.

Can I ask any questions relating to medical advice?

You may ask questions related to medical advice, however we may not always be able to answer them. If we cannot answer them, we will advise that you visit a clinician for an examination.  

Men

Do you do male circumcision?

Currently we do note do not provide a circumcision service

Do I need to know my status before booking my circumcision procedure?

 

No, but all patients are encouraged to test prior to undergoing the procedure.

How much does the circumcision procedure cost?

 

Witkoppen refers men who want to undergo the procedure to our network partners.

Is there an age requirement for the circumcision procedure?

Requirements will be explained by the network partners. 

 

Children

What services do you offer babies?

We have a pediatric clinic in our Centre. Children are assessed by a primary healthcare nurse. At each visit their vital signs and milestones (first smile, first words, first steps) are recorded. We also assess their height and weight to ensure that they are at the correct stage of development. 

Do you offer immunisations at the clinic?

Yes. It is a priority that babies and children attending our Centre receive the appropriate immunisations to prevent specific childhood diseases. Developmental screening assessments are done to ensure that babies and children are developing according to their milestones. If your baby is six months old, we advise that they visit the clinic every six months to be dewormed and receive a Vitamin A shot. 

I am visiting SA and need to get my baby vaccinated. Can you use my country’s vaccination schedule?

Vaccination schedules vary depending on the country. Please provide us with the immunizations your child requires, and we will assist if possible. Remember to bring the immunization card which details all the vaccinations your child would have received had he been at home with you. 

Does your Centre do catch up immunizations? My child has not had many of the required vaccinations.

You are welcome to bring your child for immunizations – we suggest you come in on a Friday. The process: bring along your Road to Health booklet and collect your child’s file (if they’ve visited us before) or open a new file (if you haven’t visited us before). You will then be required to pay R50 and proceed to the well baby clinic. 

How much do immunisations cost?

The cost for an immunization visit for your child is R50. 

MEDICATION

Can someone else collect my medicines for me?

Only if the person is duly authorised and provides proof of written authorisation and proof of identification to the pharmacist.

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

You can collect your medicines during normal working hours. 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 immediately. If not, you will need to follow the queue to see a clinician.

HIV

Do you offer free testing for HIV?

On your first visit all services are free, including HIV counselling and testing. Re-tests are conducted every six months. We encourage every patient to know their status as an early detection can lead to better treatment and a longer, healthier life. 

Can I have an HIV test at the weekend?

We offer HIV testing services at selected locations in the community during weekends. See our social media platform for exact locations. Our main Centre in Fourways is closed on weekends and public holidays. 

Do you offer free HIV/AIDS treatment?

Yes, we offer comprehensive management and treatment of HIV and TB as it is the case with other services, your first visit is free. Subsequent visits costs R70 for patients aged 20 to 59 years, R50 for patients under 20 years and R25 for pensioners.

I’d like to get tested for HIV – how does this work?

You will need to open a file and visit our HIV counselling department.  Where you will speak to a counsellor and be offered an HIV test if you do not know your HIV status (or if you are negative and have not tested for longer than six months). If you are newly diagnosed as HIV positive you will then be referred to a clinician for a full medical examination. Once you have been seen, you will follow the pharmacy queue to collect any medicines that have been prescribed.

I am HIV positive - do I have to live in the area to attend your clinic?

No. However, you are encouraged to attend the clinic closest to your home. We will initiate HIV positive patients on antiretroviral treatment if required, regardless of where you live. 

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

If you have moved and now live close to Witkoppen Centre, you will need to get a transfer letter from the clinic you attended before, which will contain your medical history. If you are from another area, we will do basic tests and you will be able to come to the clinic until your condition is stable. After this, you will be transferred to the clinic nearest to you.  As an NGO, we charge a facility fee of R70 for adults (R50 for children, pensioners and people with disabilities). If you require free service, you should seek a government clinic.

CT SCANS

Do you do CT scans at your clinic? I don’t have medical aid and am unable to afford private care.

We do not do CT scans. You require a referral letter from a doctor to be referred for a CT scan, which are done at Helen Joseph Hospital, 1 Perth Road, Auckland Park. 

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 the results. This is the first line of screening and is more effective than x-rays. We do not have x-rays at our clinic, if the sputum test is negative, we will refer you to the Sandton clinic for x-rays.

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

Yes, our centre does provide TB treatment to patients.  If you do not live close to us, we will do basic tests and you can attend our clinic until your condition is stable. Following this you will be transferred to the clinic nearest to you, if there is one available. If you have moved and now live close to Witkoppen Centre, you will need to get a transfer letter from the clinic you attended before, which will have your blood results and tell us what treatment you are on. Please bring along all the medication that you are currently taking, 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 busy.

Dentist

Can I see a dentist at Witkoppen Clinic?

Yes – a dentist from the Department of Health comes to the Centre on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 7.30am to 11.00am. 

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

You do not need to make an appointment. Dental services are on a first come, first serve basis - Tuesdays and Fridays every week. You are advised to get your file from the waiting area if you are an existing patient or to open a file if you are a new patient. 

Will your dentist be able to assist with rotten teeth?

Yes – a dentist from the Department of Community Dentistry comes to Witkoppen on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you have not visited us before, your first visit is free. Please arrive at the clinic by 7.00am, open a file and proceed to the dental waiting area. The dentist will examine you and discuss an appropriate treatment plan with you.

Does your dentist perform tooth implants?

Yes – please consult our dentist about this. They are available on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you are a new patient, your first visit is free. Please arrive at the clinic by 7.00am, open a file and proceed to the dental waiting area. From there, you will be seen by the dentist.

MENTAL HEALTH

I need to see a psychiatrist that can prescribed an antipsychotic for my schizoaffective disorder.

We do not have a psychiatrist at Witkoppen. We suggest that you visit Helen Joseph Hospital – they are located on 1 Perth Road, Auckland Park. You can give them a call on 011 489 1011. 

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 such as bipolar, depression and schizophrenia. The mental health clinic is open on a Thursday and is managed by a doctor.  The facility fee is R70 per visit and this includes chronic medication. 

I am very depressed. Can you help me?

Yes – please contact our mental health clinic at 011 705 2438 and ask to speak to our psychologist.  

I have just moved to Jhb, will I get my monthly medication for my bipolar disorder at Witkoppen?

We do not prescribe this type of medication as we do not have a psychiatrist at our Centre. We suggest that you visit Helen Joseph Hospital – they are located on 1 Perth Road, Auckland Park. You can give them a call on 011 489 1011.

STIs

I think I have a sexually transmitted infection. Can I come to your clinic?

Yes. This is part of our comprehensive clinic services. Our hours are from 7.30am to 4.30pm. STI treatment is part of our primary healthcare service programme.    

Women

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

Your first visit is free. A family planning visit only is R50, however if you are consulting for family planning other services, you will be charged R70.   

Can I get family planning services?

Family planning is offered as part of our core package of services.

Can I get a pap smear?

Yes – pap smears are done during normal clinic hours.

Should I book an appointment? What time should I come?

For the first visit no appointment is necessary, patients are attended on a first come first serv basis. We are open from 6.00am until 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Patients are seen from 7.30am. Admissions close at 4.30pm. Subsequent visits are scheduled according to our booking system.

I need a pap smear and have been told that I need a procedure. Can you give me more info?

Witkoppen does do pap smears, which is a screening procedure for cancer of the cervix. Please do not come for a pap smear whilst menstruating, wait for at least two days after menstruation is completed.

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

Breast examinations are done in our family planning clinic during normal clinic hours. The nurses can also teach you how to conduct a monthly breast examination at home. If an abnormality is detected, you will be referred to the nearest hospital for further testing. We do not do mammograms or breast ultrasound at Witkoppen Centre.

When is the registration for pregnant women open?

Every weekday, excluding public holidays and weekends. We encourage women to visit the clinic before they are 20 weeks pregnant. If positively screened for pregnancy you will be referred to the antenatal and postnatal department. After your first visit you will be scheduled for follow up antenatal care. 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.

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

You need to come to the clinic as soon as possible to ensure that both you and your baby are healthy. 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 6.00am. Please bring refreshments as you will be at the clinic until the afternoon to complete all the necessary consultations, HIV counselling and testing, health education, and examination.

Can I deliver my baby at Witkoppen clinic?

We do not have facilities for you to deliver your baby at our clinic. You will be referred to the Hillbrow Clinic if you are a low risk patient and to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital if you have experienced problems during your pregnancy. One of our midwives will indicate which hospital you need to visit on your carry card.

Do you do termination at your Centre?

Witkoppen does not offer or promote termination of pregnancy; however if you consult one of our clinicians and request a termination, Witkoppen will refer you to a facility providing the service.

Do you remove Nexplanon implants?

Yes, we do remove birth control implants. Please visit our preventative department.

Does your clinic do general check ups for babies?

Yes we do – you are welcome to bring your baby to our postnatal department for an examination. The process: Present at the admission/reception area at the clinic where you will open a file for your baby. You will then be directed to the relevant area at the facility depending on whether your baby is well or sick. Please bring the baby’s Road to Health card with you.

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 – please send us your CV. We will keep it on file. Check out our website – www.witkoppen.org – for vacancies (find them in the “work with us tab” under news and media). 

Do you have any jobs available?

All vacancies are advertised internally and or externally including on our website www.witkoppen.org. Witkoppen has a comprehensive volunteer and in-service training programmes. Applications can be submitted to our human resources department. Please email them at info@witkoppen.co.za 

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

Witkoppen has comprehensive volunteer and in-service training programmes. Applications can be submitted to the human resources department – info@witkoppen.co.za

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

Yes, provided your skills can be utilised within the centre. Witkoppen has comprehensive volunteer and in-service training programmes. Volunteers are not paid. Applications can be submitted to the human resources department at info@witkoppen.co.za

Do you accept health students for practicals?

Yes, we do. We have a process where the student applies for placement – we can only accept a limited number of placements per year dependent on course criteria. 

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 reasonably good condition. Any donations are appreciated; however, we do find that toys and magazines are in high demand. Please note, toys must be clean, functional and have all their parts.