According to the strategic overview by National Treasury, the NHLS is the largest diagnostic pathology service in South Africa, with a network of approximately 226 pathology laboratories. The NHLS is responsible for most HIV and tuberculosis tests in the public health system and plays a critical role in screening for cervical cancer. HIV and TB treatment depend on accurate and timely tests.
The vision of the NHLS is to: provide efficient patient-centred services and to be a global centre of excellence for innovative laboratory medicine. Its mission is to: provide quality, affordable and sustainable health laboratory services through an integrated network of laboratories; provide training for health science education; and execute innovative and relevant research with focus on patient care.