In South Africa, excellence in the field of heart surgery is a badge we wear proudly as a nation. It was Dr Chistiaan Barnard who performed the first human heart transplant in 1967 and ever since we have been lauded as a leader in the filed of cardiology and cardio-vascular surgery.

Did you know?

Groote Schuur Hospital has links with the University of Cape Town, the Red Cross Children's Hospital, Tygerberg Hospital and the University of the Western Cape. 

In South Africa, heart surgery is our medical coup de grace; after all, we were the first country in the world to perform a successful heart transplant.

When in Cape Town, be sure to visit the Groote Schuur Hospital Museum to see how medicine has changed over the years. This huge and renowned teaching and research hospital nestled on the slopes of Devil's Peak in Cape Town was where Dr Chris Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on December 3 1967. The patient was Louis Washkansky, and the museum does a good job of retelling this groundbreaking story.

It is no wonder, then, that South Africa has made enourmous strides in the field of cardiology and cardio-vascular surgery, together with the successful specialised aftercare of patients. These disciplines include electrophysiology, paediatric cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, and state-of-the-art cardiac cathetorisation as well as laboratory services and recuperative nursing.

Cardiac surgery in all its forms is practised across South Africa at state hospitals as well as the many private hospitals and clinics around the country. The Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, for example, which was the first private hospital to start a cardiac surgical programme in the country, has facilities covering all aspects of cardiology and cardiac surgery as well as facilities providing care for all other medical requirements.

Heart surgery in South Africa continues to attract patients from all over the world, seeking out first-class medical facilities and specialised skills. Of course, the fact that South Africa is a value-for-money destination is also a major draw card.

There is no doubt that South African heart surgery will continue to make waves in the international arena as international visitors come to this country to take advantage of the local expertise in cardiac medical care.

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Who to contact

Groote Schuur Hospital
Tel: +27 (0)21 404 9111