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The Dermatology service was started in 1922 at Somerset Hospital by Dr Hugh Smith, a physician. The first Head of Dermatology was Dr Morees Bosman and in 1930 training for specialization through the University of Cape Town was established (Link to History of Dermatology at UCT). Dermatology has become an independent specialty with its own College within the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. It has grown into a vibrant unit offering multiple tertiary services and outreach opportunities, teaching for undergraduates and post graduates. The unit offers clinical management in diseases such as eczema (atopic and contact), serious drug reactions, occupational health, hair disorders, melanoma, vitiligo, infectious and connective tissue diseases especially as they relate to Southern Africa.

Dermatology has both inpatient and outpatient services at Groote Schuur (Link) and Red Cross Hospitals (Link) and provides consultation services to neighbouring Hospitals and primary care practitioners as needed. We also provide outreach to community health care centres in the Western Cape on a monthly basis as part of undergraduate training. Nurse-lead dermatology clinics are being established with the most functional site at the Mitchell Plain Community Health Centre. A teledermatology referral service augments the outreach (


Clinical services

1.    Groote Schuur Hospital

An 18-bed dedicated equipped adult dermatology ward, as well as 2 beds in the paediatric ward

A new private dermatology in-patient service has been started.

The Laser Unit: the only academic Laser unit for dermatology in the country - a kind donation from the Oasis Trust.

Phototherapy and Skin Day Care Unit. On average 60 patients receive phototherapy and/or day care per week with 400 to 500 patient visits a month.

Clinics: General adult and paediatric, Drug Allergy, Hair, Occupational Health


2.    UCT Private Academic Hospital (Link).

Housed within the New Groote Hospital Building but has a separate entrance. Private dermatologists can refer patients with     disease warrant hospital admission.


Consultants and registrars are involved in lectures and tutorials for third, fourth, fifth and sixth-year MBChB undergraduates and well as allied health disciplines.

Postgraduate teaching takes place daily in the outpatient clinics and during inpatient consultations. There are only 4 State funded registrar (training) posts in the Division of Dermatology. We had additional supernumerary registrars from the rest of the African continent. This is a win-win situation where specialist training is offered in exchange for health-service delivery. Without supernumeraries, the Division would not be able to meet its service and teaching requirements.

Together with the Division of Nursing the unit ran a short course for registered nurses providing them with the skills necessary to run independent clinics in the community. For the first time (2015) the course will be afforded as a blended 2 month course (2 weeks contact and rest on-line) for both doctors and professional nurses. This innovative one-of-a-kind program aims to improve the primary health care diagnosis and treatment of skin disease (Link).

Future plan with the College of Dermatologists of South Africa is to develop a national post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology for Medical Practitioners.

Our staff members are active in national policy and educational matters and serve on the International Federation of Dermatology task team on curriculum planning and public health matters related to skin disease.


The Division of Dermatology as UCT nurtures and supports researchers of various levels supervised by seniour specialists who have national and international collaborations in various skin and hair disorders (see under staff members).


Academic Meetings

Monday:         7:30am Journal club

Tuesday:        2-3pm Histopathology Meeting

                     3:30-5pm Histopathology Meeting (joint with Tygerberg Hospital 3rd Tuesday/month)

Wednesday:   7:30am Registrar Teaching 

                     8.00 am Paediatric Meeting (at Red Cross Children’s Hospital)

Thursday:      4-5pm Medicine Grand Rounds

                     5-6pm Medicine clinical case presentations

Friday:           8:00am Registrar Teaching

                     12.00am Paediatric case presentations (at Red Cross Children’s Hospital)

Saturday:       8:30am Case presentations (joint with Tygerberg Hospital 3rd Saturday/month)

Senior Lecturers - Permanent

Prof Nonhlanhla P Khumalo, MBChB KZN, FCDerm(SA), PhD(UCT)

Dr Dumi Ngwanya, MBChB KZN, FC Derm SA

Dr Ranks Lehloenya, MBChB KZN, FC Derm SA

Dr Carol Hlela, MBChB KZN, FcDerm SA, MMed Derm SA , MSc GHS (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Senior Lecturers – Sessional

Dr Sue J Jessop, MBChB UCT, FF Derm SA

Emeritus Prof Gail Todd MBChB UCT, PhD, FC Derm SA

Dr Hanif Omar MBChB, FC Derm SA

Dr Fatema Ismail MBChB, FC Derm SA

Dr Sandra Pather MBChB KZN, FC Derm SA

Dr Riyaadh Roberts, MBChB, FC Path SA

Dr Chris Walker, MBChB UFS, FC Path SA

Dr Miranda Penny, MBChB KZN, FC Derm SA

Dr Patricia Lawrence MBChB UCT, FC Derm SA



Sr Anthea Ndyenga (Clinical Educator)

Sr Judy Wallace (Operations Manager)

Sr  Charltima Minnie (Phototherapy)

Sr Kashiefa Sayed (Red Cross Hospital)



Dr Khanyi Dladla MBChB

Dr Louis Fick MBChB

Dr Katherine York MBChB

Dr Zandile Spengane MBChB

Supernumerary Registrars

Dr Betty Kakande  MBChB

Dr Roxanne De Silva MBChB

Dr Nitta Haitembu MBChB

Dr Eugen Hirschfeld MBChB

 Admin Staff

Ms Cecily Heunis (UCT)

Ms Vanessa Strydom (Groote Schuur Hospital)

Contact Details

Head of Division
Professor NP Khumalo 

G23 Dermatology Clinic
Groote Schuur Hospital
Observatory, 7925
South Africa

Contact us at:

Tel: +27 (21) 404-3376 
Fax: +27 (21) 447 8232