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TThe last thing on any traveller’s mind when heading off on a long-awaited holiday to a new country is falling sick. When visiting South Africa there is no cause for concern in this regard, as the country is well equipped with clinics, hospitals and capable medical personnel.

However, as is the case in any other country, it’s always a good idea to make sure your guests are aware of potential health risks so they can prepare in advance.

Those unfamiliar with South Africa would benefit from the following general medical advice:

Medical insurance

While it is the duty of travel agents to provide advice on suitable medical cover when tickets are purchased in the country of origin, if this has not been done, your guest should consider taking out comprehensive medical insurance because private medical care can be expensive. If travel plans include remote destinations, recommend that your guest's medical insurance cover caters for emergencies that may require hospitalisation or medevac transportation.

Clinics and hospitals

Cities and large towns in South Africa are well equipped with medical facilities and excellent medical personnel who are required to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. While private clinics and hospitals offer optimum healthcare, this comes at a premium. Many state hospitals also offer excellent care. While there are public hospitals throughout South Africa, as in many other countries, generally speaking your guest will get quicker and better care at a private hospital.

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