Groote Schuur Hospital CEO retires after serving 23 years at the hospital

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Groote Schuur Hospital, Dr Bhavna Patel, will wear her coat for the final time on Wednesday.

Patel, who worked at the public hospital for 23 years, started as a public health registrar and has served in various senior management positions at the hospital. In 2013, she was appointed as CEO of Groote Schuur Hospital.

PHOTO - WCDoH&W: Outgoing CEO of Groote Schuur Hospital, Dr. Bhavna Patel

In a statement, spokesperson for the hospital, Alaric Jacobs, described her as ‘’one of the true legends in the public health system in the Western Cape.’’

‘’During her tenure, Dr Patel has been pivotal in leading the hospital through a period of growth, innovation, and challenges, such the COVID-19 pandemic, where Groote Schuur was a beacon of hope for many patients. She was also instrumental in building many lasting relationships with donors, the private health sector, the Hospital Board, and other stakeholders, who will continue to support the hospital’s future strategic goals.’’

‘’As a champion of building a strong leadership culture, Dr Patel also initiated a leadership development programme for the hospital’s management team, which has grown from strength to strength. This investment in leadership will ensure that she leaves a lasting legacy. Throughout her career, Dr Patel also achieved seven degrees, and graduated with her PhD in Leadership in 2022. She will also be remembered for her unwavering commitment and dedication to her staff and one of her major investments in staff wellbeing was the opening of the Groote Schuur Hospital Staff Wellness Unit,’’ added Jacobs.

Dr Patel also opened the Neonatal Unit in 2015, the new hospital entrance in 2021, and the Adolescents Unit in 2022.

Reflecting on her immense contribution over the past 23 years, Dr Patel expressed her appreciation to her colleagues, the Groote Schuur Hospital team, and the people of the Western Cape

“I am truly humbled and honoured to have served this wonderful institution and communities of the Western Cape and wish to express my deepest gratitude to all my colleagues, staff, and patients for the opportunity to be CEO of Groote Schuur Hospital. I leave with many fond memories of the last 23 years and have built friendships that will continue forever. I also believe that I leave our hospital well positioned to overcome any challenges and face the many opportunities to remain a national and international leader in healthcare. It has been a privilege to have served you.”

Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness Head, Dr Keith Cloete, says Dr Patel served the people of the Western Cape and beyond, with distinction,

‘’Groote Schuur Hospital has achieved many remarkable milestones in the delivery of high quality, world-class healthcare services during her tenure. Dr Patel has led the hospital team with impeccable leadership and grace. She leaves a legacy of excellence in public service. She is widely respected for her invaluable contribution on many fronts in the Department. It has been a great honour for me to have worked with her as colleague and friend over the years. I wish her well in her retirement.


The hospital said the announcement of the incoming CEO will be announced soon.

Done By: Mitchum George


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