Health Worker (Auxiliary)

The position of an auxiliary health worker was created to meet the chronic shortage of skilled health workers.

Auxiliary health workers serve the community on a voluntary basis or can work for large hospitals or clinics.

An auxiliary health worker is taught basic patient-care skills such as simple massage, dispensing non-prescription medicines and giving nutritional advice. They may provide assistance to physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other medical professionals.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

No specific requirements
Grade 10 Certificate may be necessary for some positions

What to Study

Large hospitals and clinics offer the auxiliary health worker in-service training. For the assistant physiotherapist and occupational therapist, a 1-year programme comprising both lectures and clinical practice is available. 

Most auxiliary health workers will require registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Consult the HPCSA website for the most up-to-date information relating to accredited courses and registration requirements. This information can be found in the relevant sections under the Professional Board for the specific area of qualification.


  • large hospitals and clinics
  • physiotherapists, as an assistant physiotherapist
  • occupational therapists, as an assistant occupational therapist

Further Information

Treatment Action Campaign
P O Box 74
Nonqubela, 7793
Tel: (021) 788-3726

Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
P O Box 205, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 338-9300
Fax: (012) 328-5120

Getting Started

  • try to obtain part-time or vacation work, or volunteer to work in a hospital, clinic or other health care facility to see whether you would enjoy this type of work
  • talk to a health worker about this career
  • obtain as much experience as possible working with people

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations