The General Hospital, Jamestown

A Note About Covid-19

There are no COVID-19 entry regulations in place on St Helena. All arrivals are welcome regardless of vaccination status.

St Helena lifted its COVID-19 entry regulations on the 8 August 2022. Up until then the island had kept a Covid-19 free status throughout the pandemic and over 97% of the adult population had had a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Tetanus & Other Jabs

There is no requirement for any immunisation before coming here, (including for Covid-19) although a tetanus injection or booster is recommended.  There has been no reported illness such as yellow fever or cholera on the Island. 

There are outbreaks of flu a few times each year. 

St Helena’s prevalence of long-term conditions is very high: ~25% of the population have been diagnosed with diabetes and ~30% with hypertension.

Health Facilities & Experts

The Health Directorate manages a 28-bed General Hospital located in the capital, Jamestown.  The hospital has a two-bed intensive care unit, an operating theatre, a radiology suite with CT-Scan, X-ray, Mammography and Ultrasound facilities. There are four outpatient clinic sites: one located in Jamestown, and three other outlying districts.

Staff at the General Hospital

The Health Directorate’s core services are:
  • Community Nursing and Primary Health Care Services (Outpatient Clinics, Community Mental Health, Home Visits, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Nutritional Advice, Health Promotion, School Health, Immunisation & Child Welfare Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy; Prison Health Clinics);
  • Dental and Pharmacy Services with dispensing facility in Jamestown and a mobile dispensary;
  • Hospital/Acute Services (including Ambulance, Emergency Service, Inpatient Medical/Surgical/Obstetric Services and Radiology);
  • Environmental Health Services including meat and fish inspections, food hygiene safety, port health, pest control and workplace health and safety; and
  • Laboratory Services with the ability to do many basic diagnostic tests across microbiology, chemical pathology, haematology and water and food testing.

There is a Senior Medical Officer, six Medical Officers and two Dentists. 

Other specialists make visits to the Island when required; an optometrist, cardiologist, oral maxilla facial surgeon etc.

Dentistry is provided, however there are no facilities for crowns, metal dentures or fixed band orthodontic work.  It is advisable that any dental work be completed prior to arriving on the Island.

Emergency Healthcare

Officers funded by the Technical Cooperation Programme on a fixed term contract, may, at the discretion always of SHG, be repatriated to their country of residence at the expense of SHG, if treatment cannot be provided on Island and if the opinion of SHG medical staff is that emergency treatment is essential and needs to be undertaken prior to the end of the contract of employment.  This will be specified in the contract for employment.

Insurance & Costs

While on island, if medical and dental treatment is needed, and your contract is for a period of one year or more, Officers and their dependants pay local rates.  Visitor rates will apply to those on contracts of less than one year. 

Current rates can be found here.

On transit to the Island, Officers funded by the Technical Cooperation Programme will be provided with a letter to show airport officials stating that medical insurance is not required to enter St Helena.  However, it is up to the individual whether they wish to take out medical insurance for treatment within their own country, for the duration of the contractual period, if they feel it is necessary to do so.  Whilst SHG may repatriate the officer to their home country, the cost of any medical treatment undertaken is a personal cost.

Dental Clinic staff

Access to the NHS

For officers recruited from the UK, they are usually able to receive NHS treatment when they return home.  Central HR (CHR) can provide a letter on headed paper stating they have been recruited directly from the UK and are part funded by a UK government department (FCDO), which is a requirement under the UK’s Overseas Visitors Guide.  Those who have requested letters from CHR, have been able to access NHS treatment when they returned home.

Special Medication

If a family member has been prescribed a specific drug, it is advisable to obtain sufficient for the foreseeable duration of your stay on the Island. 

Alternatively, you could make contact with the Health Directorate to enquire if the dispensary has the medication in stock and that there is sufficient of it, prior to your departure from your home country. 

On request, the Pharmacist can make a special order for medication, but these will not be issued at prescription rates; special medication orders are charged for on a full cost recovery basis.

Get An Appointment

It is incumbent on you (and your family) to register with the Medical Records Officer in the Health Directorate as soon as possible after arrival.  

To make a doctors appointment, you will need to contact the Appointments Clerk on telephone no: 22321, Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 4pm. 

Visiting the General Hospital outside of scheduled clinics will incur a charge.

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