The Department of Medicine offers a full range of clinical services, spanning all the subdisciplines of internal medicine, to patients attending public health services in Cape Town, as well as specialist and superspecialist consultation for all patients in the Western Cape and, in the case of areas of special expertise, nationally and internationally as well.


Together with the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Stellenbosch, we share responsibility for the secondary and tertiary care of a population of approximately 3 million. We provide a clinical service in internal medicine at four district hospitals: Mitchell's Plain District Hospital in Mitchell's Plain, Somerset Hospital in Green Point, Victoria Hospital and 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg. These are busy hospitals providing medical services to a large population in Cape Town, and serve as referral hospitals for the community health centres in greater Cape Town. Our registrars rotate through these hospitals, working alongside the hospitals' own medical officers.

Tertiary Services

Groote Schuur Hospital is our main teaching hospital. This is a large institution, established in its present site in 1938. The Department is responsible for the staffing and operation of a busy Emergency Unit, which serves largely as receiving area for referrals from our district hospitals. Patients are admitted from here into an emergency ward for short term stay, or transferred directly to our medical wards or to medical beds staff by our subspecialist divisions.


Facilities staffed by our department include the Coronary Care Unit, Stroke Unit and Respiratory Intensive Care Unit. Approximately 60 beds in Groote Schuur Hospital fall under our Acute General Medicine division. Since most patients with less complex illnesses are now managed in our district hospitals, these beds are largely filled by patients with highly complex conditions requiring of multidisciplinary intervention, subspecialist supervision or complex investigations and treatment.

Subspecialist Services

Our department offers a full range of subspecialist services to the population of Cape Town and Western Province and, in some cases, to patients from the rest of South Africa and other southern African states. These include cardiac electrophysiology, interventional cardiology assessment for cardiac surgery and cardiac transplantation, management of complex arrhythmias, gastro-intestinal endoscopy, the monitoring and management of resistant hypertension, liver transplantation, renal dialysis and transplantation, intensive care in our coronary and respiratory intensive care units, a dedicated stroke unit, assessment for the surgical management of epilepsy and bronchoscopy. These services are described in more detail under our individual divisions



Specialised hospitals

We also have registrars more rotating through the II Military Hospital in Wynberg and the Brooklyn Chest Hospital. Our consultants visit the Brooklyn Chest Hospital to provide clinical teaching and outreach work. The Division of Hepatology supervises liver transplantation services at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital.

George Hospital Complex

Our consultants regularly conduct outreach and clinical services at George Hospital, this includes undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

UCT Private Academic Hospital

The University of Cape Town opened its own Private Hospital in partnership with the private sector. This hospital-within-a-hospital is situated on the D Floor of Groote Schuur Hospital but functions as an entirely separate administrative institution. It provides medical services to patients contracted to several large medical insurance companies. Medical services are provided by our consultant staff.






Consultation services

Most of our clinical divisions and their consultant staff are involved in outreach programmes, travelling to other centres (particularly the Eastern Cape: Mthatha, Port Elizabeth, East London, and George) to provide subspecialist consultation services. We also offer clinical support at the primary care level at certain community health centres, particularly at the Khayelitsha Community Health Centre and rheumatological consultation at the Atlantis Community Health Centre.

Private practice

While most of our consultant staff are in full-time employment with the provincial administration of the Western Cape, some participate in limited private practice and may be consulted privately. Further information is available at the following link.

"Leading with Excellence"

Department of Medicine