An Indian origin woman has taken over as the chief executive officer of a South African hospital, renowned globally as the place where the world's first heart transplant was carried out.
After taking charge of the top job at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town earlier this week, Bhavna Patel said she looked forward to carrying on the work done by her predecessor, Terence Carter.
"The core of what we do is the provision of service,” The New Age Online quoted Patel as saying.
"We need to meet the needs of the patients. We have a challenge of addressing the waiting lists for outpatient services and operations. People wait long for operations.”
Founded in 1938 and one of the national referral centres of South Africa, Groote Schuur Hospital is the place where Christiaan Baranard carried out the world's first human heart transplant Dec 3, 1967.
Patel said she would work to extend the operation hours in the hospital given the fact that people had to wait from two weeks to six months to get appointments for operations.
Prior to being made the CEO, Patel had served as the hospital's chief operations officer and, prior to that, as medical senior services manager.
"In the past eight years, as medical manager and as chief of operations, she has acquired practical experience in the management of the hospital,” Theuns Botha, Western Cape provincial minister for health, who had named Patel for the post July 25, was quoted as saying.
"She is fit for the purpose and the provincial cabinet is proud to make this appointment. I wish her the best for this new challenge.”
Patel holds a masters degree in family medicine from Stellenbosch University and another masters degree in bioethics and health law from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
She is a registered family health specialist.