FAQs

Is NMCH operational?

NMCH opened its doors to its first patients in June 2017, beginning with outpatient services in the Radiology department but has since opened most of its services including for inpatients. We were proud to celebrate our first-year anniversary, an important milestone for the hospital on 28 June 2018

Working on a referral basis with other tertiary hospitals, NMCH currently offers the following critical services:

  • Neurosurgery – The neurosurgical department treats children diagnosed with complex cases including, posterior fossa tumours, craniofacial abnormalities and myelomeningoceles.
  • Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery – At one adult hospital, there can be up to 300 children waiting for life-saving heart treatment. Our Cardiothoracic Surgical team treats children with congenital and cardiovascular disease.
  • General Paediatric Surgery – These procedures are critical surgeries that, in some cases, children have been waiting for several months to receive. These include orchidopexy (surgical repair of undescended testes into the scrotum), oesophageal atresia (a birth defect that causes the oesophagus to end in a blind-ending pouch), hypospadias repairs (repairs abnormal location of the urinary tract opening), and jejunal atresia (a birth defect resulting in the partial absence of the fold of the stomach membrane), to name a few.
  • Nephrology (Dialysis) – One of the largest paediatric dialysis units in the country. The unit adopts a holistic approach to treatment in the form of pre and post-transplant treatment as well as haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
  • Critical Care – With 48 ICU beds – both neonatal and paediatric ICU – NMCH has the largest paediatric critical care complex in the region. Many critically-ill children are in need of this intensive care. To ensure improved health outcomes for patients from our referral networks NMCH has provided a dedicated specialist team and allocated space to care for these vulnerable children.

Supported by:

  • Allied Services (Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Dieticians, Psychologists)
  • Radiology (X-ray, Ultrasound, Fluoroscopy, CT Scan, Cath lab and MRI)
  • Anaesthesia

Why is NMCH in Johannesburg?

NMCH was built on land generously donated by Wits University. NMCH services the northern regions of South Africa, including Gauteng, the economic hub and one of the most populated regions in South Africa. Our location also allows for NMCH to service the greater Southern African region.

Why was NMCH built and why is it a tertiary paediatric hospital?

There are an estimated 450 million children and youth on the continent but approximately only 5 specialised, paediatric hospitals. In South Africa, the tertiary paediatric care sector has the biggest backlog. Many children pass away whilst awaiting treatment and surgery.

Tertiary care hospitals typically treat complex and sometimes rare conditions. NMCH treats some of these conditions and aims to establish its footprint as an academic hospital engaged in training and research. Training at NMCH will build the capacity of the specialised paediatric care sector in South and Southern Africa to build understanding of these types of these conditions in the hope that we may develop more effective treatments for them.

Do you have any jobs and how can I apply?

The latest vacancies or jobs are frequently posted on our website under the Careers page as well as on all our social media pages. Applicants can visit these pages for information on all work opportunities at NMCH. Instructions for submissions are also posted alongside all available posts.

Do you offer any learnerships/internships?

NMCH is currently not offering any learnerships or internships. Any learnership opportunities offered at NMCH will be posted on the hospital’s website and social media pages. The requirements, criteria and all other relevant information will be posted alongside each learnership opportunity should it arise.

Do you offer any medical training?

Training and Skills development are an important part of the hospital’s mandate as there is a shortage of paediatric specialists in the country. Through a grant received from the National Skills Fund, NMCH trains doctors and nurses and has partnered with NMMU; UFS; TUT for the training of nursed and WITS & UCT for the training of doctors. Certain courses have been developed specifically to meet the hospital’s requirements e.g. the Neonatal Critical Care Course with Wits.

How and what can I donate?

As a non-profit organisation, NMCH relies on the generosity and philanthropic nature of the public including individuals, corporations and foundations.

For cash donations, the public is encouraged to visit our Donate page for various payment options including SMS donations, EFTs, Payfast and SnapScan. International donation platforms are also available on the page.

The public can also donate toys and books for our patients to help us improve their stay for the duration of their recovery or for use in our Rehabilitation Unit to stimulate their sensory systems. Click here for our wishlist of play items.

How do I know where my donations are going?

NMCH releases audited financial statements on an annual basis reflecting donations received from the public each financial year. These are presented in our Annual Reports, the latest copy of which is available on our website.

How do I get help from NMCH and who can refer me?

As a tertiary, referral paediatric hospital, all patients admitted at NMCH are referred by tertiary hospitals in our network and must be 16 or under 16 years of age. Our hospital does not currently accept direct referrals from hospitals outside of South Africa. Patients from outside of South Africa are treated once within the hospital’s referral network and have been identified as meeting the criteria for transfer to NMCH.

Patients must be referred to NMCH by specialist healthcare workers that have been working on their case and who can determine that they satisfy the criteria for treatment. Our hospital uses established referral protocols for all patients based on the best standards of practice. The referral process ensures that the patients who need tertiary care most urgently receive it as soon as possible.

Can I volunteer at the hospital?

Our volunteers offer an invaluable service and consist of a diverse group of individuals who offer their time and skills to support our clinical teams, patients and families. All individuals or corporates who wish to volunteer can contact our Volunteers Programme Manager, Agnes Kambira at agnes.kambira@nmch.org.za to find out more about opportunities to volunteer at NMCH.

All interested parties should please note that volunteers are recruited and placed in the hospital as and when the need arises and would have to undergo interviews and security screening before approval.

Who can live at the hospital’s accommodation?

The Ronald McDonald House of Charities family accommodation is reserved for families travelling from afar, who need to spend an extended period of time at the hospital, as a result of their children being admitted at NMCH.

Admission is subject to RMHC’s admissions policy criteria which includes families from disadvantaged backgrounds who cannot afford to travel to the hospital or stay in Johannesburg for a protracted amount of time. Parents are encouraged to enquire about their eligibility once their child has been admitted at the hospital.

Who owns and oversees operations at NMCH?

NMCH was built through one of the biggest capital campaigns by civil society in the country led by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust (the Trust).

The Trust remains the owner of the asset (building) and custodian of the ethos of the hospital. The Trust is led by its own board of trustees chaired by Mrs Graca Machel.

The hospital board chaired by Mr Phuthuma Nhleko, oversees the operations of the hospital under the management of Chief Operations Officer Dr Mandisa Maholwana and the hospital’s executive team.

What is the relationship with government?

NMCH is not a government gazetted institution however the South African government through the National Tertiary Services Grant (NTSG) provides funding to support state patients at NMCH. Our hospital also receives funding from the National Skills Fund to support the training of nurses and doctors in various universities across the country.