How to prepare for your next clinic visit

Going to the clinic can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve experienced challenges or uncomfortable situations in the past. Here’s how to be better prepared for your next visit.

New patients

If you’re a new patient at clinic, you’ll need to take your ID with you on your first visit. You must provide your ID details to reception so they can open a medical folder for you. You’ll also need to provide the following details:

  • Your home address
  • Proof of address (for example a bank statement, however, if you can’t provide this, a verbal address will also be accepted)
  • Your contact number
  • Details of your next-of-kin (e.g., family member)

Returning patients

If you’re an existing patient, you’ll need to produce your clinic card. If you’ve lost the card, you’ll be issued with a new one once your details are retrieved from the system.

Waiting time

It’s important to remember that not all cases are equally urgent, so take note of the waiting time at your local clinic. When arriving at a clinic, you’ll be assessed by a healthcare worker and given a colour or placed in a line corresponding to how severe your condition is. It’s best to go as early as possible and take a book or your earphones to keep you occupied while waiting. Remember to wear comfortable shoes.

Some services at clinics will require you to make an appointment. To help reduce your waiting time, state the reason for you visit to the administrative staff and they’ll direct you to reception. There, you’ll be asked the reason for your visit depending on the service required, and the clinic will give you a date and time for your appointment.


Once you see a healthcare provider, your condition will be assessed and treatment will be determined. If you need a follow-up or specialised care, the healthcare provider will write you a referral letter. Although public facilities are free, it’s important to enquire about any fees you might be charged for your treatment, especially with specialists.

If you’re still overwhelmed by the process, feel free to DM me- I’ll give you advice and info on youth friendly facilities near you.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).