The Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town (UCT), one of South Africa’s premier hospitals, is renowned as the training ground for some of South Africa’s best doctors, surgeons and nurses.
In December 1967, a young UCT educated surgeon named Dr Christiaan Barnard, completed the world’s first successful humanheart transplant in this hospital.
As an academic health centre, Groote Schuur Hospital mission is “to strive to provide outstanding tertiary and quaternary care for the patients of the Western Cape and beyond and to promote excellence in teaching and research.”
The Division of Cardiology is the oldest dedicated clinical cardiology unit in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a rich history and tradition of delivering best-class clinical service, of teaching and training Africa’s leading cardiologists, as well as some international ones, and of making significant contributions and efforts to improve local national, and international cardiovascular health.
Professor Mpiko Ntsekhe (below) the head of Cardiology Division, part of the Department of Medicine, expresses his vision as follows:
“Clinical medicine, teaching, research are the most exciting aspect of my daily tasks…. I would like to create a simple legacy of running a department that consistently finds solutions that allow it to provide best patient care, teaches and trains to the highest standards and contributes to solving the major problems countries face through research”.
His team includes:
3 Senior consultants: B. Cupido, S. Pandie, A. Chin, who work full time, and share all the tasks
4 Fellows: N. Ntusi, K. Moeketsi, P. Ntuli, M. Chhiba (even though they participate in all activities, the fellows rotate their training every week (cath-lab, echo, electrophysiology, clinic)
5 Internal Medicine trainees (rotating every 3 months)
The aims of the division of cardiology are:
"Retaining, recruiting and training a team of cardiovascular health care professionals who are dedicated to clinical excellence and public sector health care and who are conscious of the prevaling conditions and environment
To make targeted improvements within the system of health care to address issues of access for patients, contribute to teaching and training (the division of cardiology receives non-resident trainees from around the country and the African continent), and work closely with the Hatter Institute For Cardiovascular Research in Africa. Its research and projects are geared to consolidate and expand the existing efforts to combat cardiovascular diseases and improve the overall prosperity in Africa”
The Division of Cardiology works as “a tertiary referral centre”, based on a networking hub with secondary hospitals in the region, and the standard of care is very high.
The facility includes:
- ICU: 6 beds, with a fast turn-over
- Walk-in patients: 12 beds (including 6 lukewarm beds)
The Clinical Skills Centre is one of the fast-growing entities in the faculty of Health Science providing simulation training in the Faculty of Health Science, and simulation training to all medical and allied health programmes at the Univesity of Cape Town.
I had the opportunity to share a very enriching moment with Rachel Weiss, Director of Clinical Skills Centre! Thank you again to all involved!