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Health Care Centre

The HCC is the building on the left, near the top of Rhodes Avenue, the steep road that goes up the hill past Hobson House and CPU.  

The nursing staff in the HCC are on duty throughout the term to provide a professional and caring service to students at Rhodes University.  Five qualified nursing sisters who provide the services below run the health care centre. 

Students are welcome to discuss their problems and these discussions are confidential. 

While there is a sister on duty or on call 24 hours a day, PLEASE NOTE that, the Health Care Centre is not a substitue for a casualty room at a hospital.  

For students on medical aid, all emergencies will be referred to Settlers hospital via ER24 or Gardmed ambulance and we will organise that the doctor meet the patient there.  

Appointments can also be made for the students to see the doctor at the surgery.  

The student is responsible for the medical practitioner's charges and for the cost of prescribed medicines from local pharmacies.  

A doctor is available to see students every second weekday and the charge is R240.00 per visit from the student account.  An appointment will be secured with the doctor via the Health Care Centre Staff or Counselling Centre.  Admissions at the HCC is free for ALL students, not only residence students, but also for Oppidans.  

There are ten beds for in patients suffering from infectious diseases or ailments such as flu, tonsillitis, and gastroenteritis for those recovering after surgical procedures.  

It is also a haven for those suffering from stress, anxiety and depression.  This in patient facility is available free to students in residence and at a nominal fee to Oppidans.  

Opening Hours

In term time: please make an appointment by calling (046) 603 8523 or email: healthcarecentre@ru.ac.za

Monday - Friday: 

8:00 - 13:00 

14:00 - 17:00

Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays:

8:00 - 13:00 

During university vacations: Monday - Friday:

8:00 - 12:30 


Free Services

  • Treatment of minor ailments such as flu, tonsillitis etc. 
  • In-patient care for acute illnesses.
  • Management and care of patients with infectious diseases. 
  • Post-operative observations
  • Emergency assessment and crisis management (e.g. rape)
  • Voluntary HIV testing, including pre- and post-test counselling
  • HIV AIDS medication 
  • Screening tests e.g. blood pressure
  • Family planning advice

Services at a minimal cost 

  • Vaccinations (flu, etc.) 
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Pap Smears and blood tests 
  • Doctors clinic: At around R240.00 per consultation, the fees rise annually
  • Vitamins and appropriate medication for HIV&AIDS patients

Referral Services 

Staff at the Health Care Centre can make referrals to a range of other medical services in town, including private doctors and dentists, the Counselling Centre, the Psychology Clinic, the hospital, social workers and private counsellors. 

Students who have undergone surgery recently or who are under private medical care, which requires follow up treatment by the Health Care Centre sisters, should provide a letter of consent from their doctors.  

Admissions at the HCC 

1) Infectious diseases such as: 

  • tuberculosis, except for multidrug resistant TB and extreme drug resistant TB the length of stay is (14) days.  We admit students who are in residence only, those in digs normally remain there, unless their digs-mates have not had exposure or the infectious illness before
  • chickenpox, rubella, mumps or any infectious diseases such as meningitis will be treated at a hospital level, the length of stay is (5) days.  TB only infectious prior to diagnosis and for the first two weeks of treatment.  

2) Acute illnesses such as dysmenorrhea, abdominal pain and headache the length of stay necessary is 1-2 days.  We may admit acute illnesses where we are concerned for the health of the student and we wish to monitor the progress of the illness.  This is at the discretion of the HCC staff.  If necessary, the student may be referred to Settlers Hospital. 

3) Post-operative care - the length of stay is about 5 days.  Post-operative care may include wound care and pain management where the patient is stable and admission is at the discretion of the HCC staff.  

4) AOB (intoxicated students) The length of stay is as necessary.  At night, the CPU may contact us with a drunken student who has been picked up at clubs or on the streets.  We provide a sleepover space for this purpose.  Where students run the risk of aspiration, they will be transferred to Settlers Hospital.  


Counselling Centre

The Counselling Centre is situated on the top floor of the Bantu Steven Biko Building (off Prince Alfred Street).

Professional, registered psychologists and interns are available to discuss a variety of issues related to student’s mental health and wellbeing.

The centre is open daily from 8-5 and has an afterhours psychological emergency line.

The Counselling Centre specialises in:

  • Confidential counselling
  • Referral information
  • Workshops on relevant issues and
  • Support groups for students with similar interests and goals.
Contact:  (046) 603 7070 or counsellingcentre@ru.ac.za

Career Centre

The Career Centre offers a career counselling and education service to assist students in their career planning and career development while at Rhodes.

Our aim is to encourage and enable students to make and implement well – informed decisions about their future careers.

Services include:

  • Individual career counselling sessions (30-50 minutes) by appointment. This is for registered students and scholars applying to study at Rhodes University.
  • Walk in 5 minute sessions for a quick and brief query – daily 11h00 to 15h00 – no appointment required.
  • An online question facility- a member of staff will provide an answer within 48 hours. Go to the “FAQ” tab at the top of this page.
  • Career assessments for students and scholars – to assist with study choice and career development. This does incur a fee – students at Rhodes University have a discounted rate. Details available on request.
  • Workshops at the Career Centre and in University residences upon request.
    • CV structure, cover letter and job application tips
    • What to expect in an interview.
    • Career Success Strategies
    • Graduate recruitment services – a job portal that advertises available job opportunities, career fairs and company presentations to network with a selection of companies hiring new graduates and various graduate publications available 24/7 at the Career Centre to assist in the job hunting process.
Contact:  (046) 603 7070 or careercentre@ru.ac.za 

HIV Office

Free, strictly confidential HIV counselling and testing is offered by a partnership between the Counselling Centre and the Health Care Centre.  the voluntary HIV testing is done along with the necessary pre- and post-test counselling, by appointment, at the Health Care Centre every afternoon. 

The entire procedure, including the counselling and the test is relatively brief, usually somewhere within 30 minutes.  Rapid HIV tests are employed and studetns will be provided with their test result immediately.  Students can be assured that the testing and counselling procedure follows strict protocols and that the service provided is confidential, professional and efficient.  Students can obtain their HIV medication from the HCC.  

The Counselling Centre is available to provide psychological support, while the HCC provides medical support and advice for any student who is HIV positive.  It is University Policy that the rights of HIV-positive students are protected.  


Contact: (046) 603 8523 or healthcarecentre@ru.ac.za 


Reporting cases

Students and Staff are encouraged to report any matters of Harassment to the Manager of Student Wellness who will handle the cases

Students (and staff) have four options when reporting:

  1. Just to report for record purposes
  2. To request that the alleged perpetrator be called in and strongly advised to stop behaviour - record kept (complainant may escalate matter at any point) although the Director of Student Affairs has no power to issue a no contact order, they can STRONGLY advise the alleged perpetrator to stop the behaviour
  3. Mediation
  4. Disciplinary action

If point 2 is requested, the Director Student Affairs will facilitate this process

If point 3 is requested (Mediation), this is facilitated by Division of Student Affairs office (there are currently 25 trained mediators)

If point 4 is requested (Disciplinary action), the matter is escalated to individuals who will meet with complainant and establish facts of the case.  The Division of Student Affairs trusts this disciplinary process.  The individual may be referred to the Legal Aid Clinic in New Street to facilitate a possible court interdict, as necessary. The complainant is also welcome to report matter to the South African Police.

If the safety of the student is considered to be a concern, a request may be made to the Vice Chancellor to issue a no contact order.  The Vice Chancellor will then call in the alleged perpetrator and explain that he/she may have no contact with the complainant, in failing to comply with this, they will be immediately suspended.  Only the Vice Chancellor has the right to issue a no contact order.

It is important to consider the interest of the complainant at ALL times. The complainant must be consulted with regards to public notices, media statements, whether lecturers or wardens etc. and  should be informed, and asked whether they are comfortable with e-mail messages etc.

The Division of Student Affairs works very closely with the student to ensure that they are 'protected' throughout the process and that beneficence and non-maleficence are core values.

The Division of Student Affairs office has the students interest at heart. The Office of Equity and Institutional Culture focuses on awareness raising and activism work.

The Vice Chancellor is supportive of the above mechanisms

The student is referred to Counselling and receives support throughout.

Contact: (046) 603 8181 or studentaffairs@ru.ac.za

For information of the Gender Action Forum, please download the following document: GENACT 2014

Last Modified: Wed, 02 Oct 2019 16:43:15 SAST