Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

181 Longmarket Street
Cape Town 8001
South Africa

+27 21-480-6111 (main)


The Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and is part of the Netcare Group of private hospitals. The Netcare Group is one of the largest private healthcare foundations in South Africa, and is trying to promote health tourism to the region, building on the already established regular tourism industry. The hospital is a large facility, possessing 247 beds and 14 theatres, and performs a wide and varied range of procedures.1,2 The hospital was the first in South Africa to perform a heart transplant and is a major destination for health tourists from all aver the world.8

In 2001, this hospital was the first facility in the world to transplant an artificial Berlin heart into a patient, keeping him alive until a donor could be found.1 Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is also a premier center for cardiac research, employing some of the foremost specialists in the world.1 It is a member of the International Heart and Lung Transplantation Society, which shares knowledge between some of the premier institutions in the world. The hospital also performs other types of transplant, having completed its 250th kidney transplant in 2005.8

The hospital does not appear to have its own website, instead taking up a section on the general Netcare site. Specific information is therefore a little lacking, but it does give a good general overview of the departments and facilities at the Hospital. There is not a lot of information for international patients, but South Africa is a very easy place to reach by regular flights and to find good quality hotels and guesthouses.9 In addition, some of the plastic surgeons based at the clinic have theirs own websites, which is full of useful links about plastic surgery as well as places to stay in and around Cape Town.2,4

Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital provides most of the procedures that would be expected in such a large facility serving a large city. These departments include; dentistry, dermatology, plastic surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, pediatrics and a whole host of other procedures. As would be expected from the name, the hospital is a Centre of Excellence for cardiology and heart surgery, being amongst the foremost establishments in the world. From check ups to full open heart surgery and transplants, CBMH provides a full and complete range of cardiac procedures.1

The facility possesses some ultra-modern equipment, including a skin laser, Fresenius dialysis machine and state of the art operating theatres and technology, for performing transplants.1,2,5 The hospital also possesses a Ablatherm® HIFU ultrasound machine for the treatment of prostate cancer.5

There are a number of reviews and news items about Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Chelsy Davy, girlfriend of Prince Harry of the British Royal Family, had an emergency appendectomy there.3  The hospital also saved the life of the world’s most premature baby, gently nursing it back to full health against all the odds.6 One reviewer, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, was delighted with the care and attention spent by all the staff at this hospital.7