National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)

Contact Details

Postal Private Bag X8, Sandringham, 2131
Physical 1 Modderfontein Road, Sandringham, Johannesburg
Tel 011 386 6000


The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) is a national public entity established by the National Health Laboratory Service Act 37 of 2000, to provide quality, affordable and sustainable health laboratory services, training and research. It is governed by a Board and is responsible for ensuring that diagnostic pathology services are provided to more than 80% of the South African population through its countrywide network of quality-assured diagnostic laboratories.

The NHLS was formed in 2001 by the merger of the former South African Institute for Medical Research (SAIMR), the National Institute for Virology (NIV), and the National Centre for Occupational Health. It is governed by the National Health Laboratory Service Act, the NHLS Rules, and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 1 of 1999 (as amended).

The NHLS assists with communicable diseases, occupational health, and cancer surveillance in addition to providing diagnostic pathology services. It has specialised institutes such as the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), which includes the National Cancer Registry (NCR), National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH), Forensic Chemistry Laboratories (FCL) and South African Vaccine Producers Association (SAVP).

The NHLS employs over 8 000 people and has laboratories in all nine provinces of South Africa. It is critical to the South African healthcare system, because it is the sole provider of diagnostic pathology services to a large portion of the population.

Overseeing Department/Entity

The information in this directory is compiled from various sources and is subject to continual change. If you notice any errors or omissions, contact us so that we may correct them.