Houston Health Department
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: I'm new to the Houston area. What type of public health system will I find here?
A: There are three basic public health entities in Houston. The City of Houston Health Department and the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (formerly Harris County Health Department) provide health services primarily concentrating on prevention and the Harris County Hospital District provides health services focusing on treatment.
2) Q: I plan on traveling to another country. What kind of immunizations will I need?
A: You can receive current information on what immunizations are needed by calling Epidemiology at 832-393-5080. You also can check the web site of the federal Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov.
3) Q: I wasn't born in the City of Houston, but I need to get a birth certificate. Can I get it from the Houston Health Department?
A: You may be able to get a Certification of Birth Facts from the HDHHS Bureau of Vital Statistics. These are available for anyone born in Texas during specific years. For more information call 713-247-1686.
4) Q: Where do I go in Houston I can go to get my birth certificate?
A: The HDHHS Bureau of Vital Statistics at 8000 North Stadium Drive.
5) Q: Can I get food stamps from the Houston Health Department?
A: No. The agency that issues food stamps is the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Call 713-767-2000.
6) Q: I had my child immunized by your department, but I've lost the shot records. What can I do?
A: Contact Immunizations at 832-393-5427 for copies of vaccination records.
7) Q: I need to see a doctor for some health problems and don't have insurance. Can I go to one of your health centers to see a doctor?
A: The agency you need to contact is the Harris County Hospital District for this service. Call 713-643-3691. They will instruct you on how to get a gold card that gives you eligibility for their health clinics. Hospital District clinics are similar to city clinics, except that the city clinics focus on prevention and the hospital district clinics deal with illness and treatment.
8) Q: The mosquitoes around my house are terrible. Can the city health department come out and spray my street for mosquitoes?
A: The city health department doesn't spray for mosquitoes. If you live in Harris County, contact Harris County Mosquito Control at 713-440-4800.
9) Q: Does the city health department inspect restaurants?
A: Yes. The Consumer Health section licenses food establishments and inspects and monitors food safety in restaurants, grocery stores, meat markets and other retail, wholesale and institutional food establishments.
10) Q: I believe the city's smoking ordinance is being violated in the building where I work. Who can I call?
A: Contact Occupational Health at 832-393-5750. This section of the health department enforces the smoking ordinance.
11) Q: Where can I get well water tested?
A: Call the laboratory well water testing section at 713-558-3471.
12) Q: Where do I report a dirty swimming pool?
A: Call Consumer Health at 832-393-5100.
13) Q: I'm pregnant and have no idea what to do about health care or seeing a doctor. I don't have any insurance. Can you help?
A: Yes. Contact one of our health centers and someone will help answer all your questions.
14) Q: My neighbor has weeds causing rats, plus junked cars in the driveway. Can the health department send someone out?
A: The agency in the City of Houston that deals with this situation is called Neighborhood Protection. Inspectors enforce the health nuisance laws in Houston. Call 713-218-5500.
15) Q: Can I get the exact same services at any health center or multi-service center?
A: Some services are available at all health centers, but not all services. The best thing to do is call the health center and find out what services are offered at that location. Multi-service centers have a variety of different services, as different agencies are housed at different centers.
16) Q: I want to know more about AIDS and HIV. Can you help?
A: Yes. You can start by calling the AIDS hotline at 832-393-5010. You can also find information on our web site - click here.