The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) is the largest diagnostic pathology service in South Africa with the responsibility of supporting the national and provincial health departments in the delivery of healthcare.

The NHLS provides laboratory and related public health services to over 80% of the population through a national network of laboratories. The National Health Laboratory Service is a public health laboratory service with laboratories in all nine provinces, employing 6,700 people. Its activities comprise diagnostic laboratory services, research, teaching and training, and production of sera for anti-snake venom, reagents and media.

Vision of the NHLS
To provide public health laboratory services in the country, to restructure and transform the laboratory services in order to make them part of a single national public entity and develop policies that will enable it to provide health laboratory services as the preferred provider for the public health sector.

Mission of the NHLS
To provide cost-effective and professional laboratory medicine, through competent, qualified professionals and state-of-the-art technology supported by academic and internationally recognized research, training and product development to maximise healthcare delivery to the nation.