Information for patients
There is a public health service available which is operated by Public Health and Social Services department of the St Helena Government. It is funded from SHG budget and Health Link 3 project, plus user charges for non-UK visitors. There is a single 39-bed hospital plus the 40 bed Community Care Complex, and five outlying health centres.
St Helena has an NHS quota of four referrals p.a., but the majority of patients requiring
off island care are referred to hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa. St Helena receives budgetary and developmental aid from DFID. Both the EC and WHO-AFRO have provided additional support.
The public health service is operated by Ascension Island Government and it is funded from the government budget. Health insurance is compulsory for visitors. Ascension has no NHS quota, and receives no budgetary or developmental aid from DFID. Patients requiring specialist care are referred to the John Radcliffe and Manor hospitals in Oxford as private patients. Georgetown Hospital has 9 beds and provides a primary and secondary care comparable to any UK practice, including radiology and an operating theatre.
The hospital charges visitors for both outpatient and in-patient treatment.
Patients requiring specialist care are referred to the John Radcliffe and Manor hospitals in Oxford as private patients.
A UK-qualified dentist is available on the island.
Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha has a single medical officer. There is a 4-bed health facility, which provides limited inpatient and outpatient care, including radiology and an operating theatre. Tristan da Cunha has no NHS quota. All referrals are sent to private hospitals in Cape Town. It receives developmental aid from DFID via the Healthlink 3 project.
Information for travellers
All visitors to St Helen are required to have valid medical insurance, proof of which must be shown on arrival. This must include coverage for the cost of evacuation in the event of a medical emergency. Although yellow fever does not occur on St Helena, visitors coming from a yellow fever endemic area must have proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
An adequate standard of medical care is available on St Helena, but all visitors, including UK residents, are charged a fee for medical and dental treatment. If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance.
If you intend to participate in diving sports, please note that there is no decompression facility on Ascension, nor are there qualified rescue divers. Visiting divers are strongly recommended to dive with an experienced diver. There is a small diving club on the island. If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. If you need regular supplies of prescription drugs, you should make sure you bring adequate supplies with you.
Tristan da Cunha
A good standard of general practice level medical care is available on Tristan da Cunha, but it can be expensive. Operations and more serious medical cases usually require medical evacuation to Cape Town and this depends on the availability of ships. The journey itself can take up to a week, or longer in bad weather. Limited pharmaceutical supplies are available on Tristan and you should make sure you take sufficient stock of any regular prescription medication with you.
Link to Ministry of Health: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/directorates/health/