Adult cardiac surgical services are based at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) and the UCT Private Academic Hospital (UCT PAH). The former was founded in 1938 as a new Teaching Hospital for the University of Cape Town and is Provincially owned and a state-funded public institution.

The first successful open heart surgery cases at GSH were commenced in 1958 after Christiaan Barnard returned from training overseas.

Similar to Red Cross Children’s Hospital, it serves predominantly indigent public sector patients without medical insurance. There is also no private practice at the hospital. Clinical services of this Division are headed and run by surgeons who are employed jointly by the University of Cape Town and the Provincial Administration of the Western Cape.

Apart from the association with the University of Cape Town, the Hospital also serves the South African Nursing Council as a training base for nursing staff, and the Cape Peninsula University Technikon (College of Technology) and other Technical Universities in the country, training paramedical technologists.

Embedded within Groote Schuur Hospital is the UCT PAH that was founded in 2001 as an additional platform for clinical services providing access to a larger base of patients and modern equipment.