Mitchells Plain Hospital is a large district hospital in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain. Itserves a community of approximately 700 000 people with some of the highest disease burden in the Western Cape. It is aligned to the University of Cape Town’s medical school, and is a training site for under-graduate and post-graduate students.
The hospital is arguably one of the busiest in the Cape Metropole, and sees up to 4500 patients a month in its Emergency Unit. The Mitchells Plain sub-district has a huge disease burden of the four major health problems facing South Africa today.
1. HIV/AIDS, with up to 70% of medical inpatients presenting a whole range HIV related problems such as disseminated TB, pericardial disease, renal failure, Kaposi sarcoma, cryptococcal disease etc.
2. Non-communicable disease, which is a reflection of the massive obesity epidemic facing the country. Patients present with premature coronary artery disease, strokes, heart failure, diabetes related issues etc.
3. Infectious diseases such as TB are rife in the community and, apart from TB, admits patients with bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, leptospirosis, malaria (occasionally) on a daily basis.
4. Trauma – the trauma burden is enormous and surgeons deal with an enormous load of stab and gunshot related injuries.
The hospital has several distinct specialities, all of which have specialists providing supervision to registrars, medical officers and interns :
1. The Emergency Unit has four consultants
2. Medicine has three consultants
3. Surgery has three consultants
4. Orthopaedic surgery has one consultant
5. Obstetrics and Gynaecology has one consultant with assistance from a consultant Family Physician
6. Paediatrics has one consultant and has assistance from the Family Physician
7. Psychiatry has one consultant
8. Radiology has one consultant, who offers CT and ultrasound services
9. Anaesthetics has one full time consultant/anaesthetist
All departments run inpatient and outpatient based services, provide consultant led services andhave an academic teaching program aimed at both students and registrars/medical officers.
At the same time the large disease burden offers great practical skill training in all the various disciplines, which makes Mitchells Plain Hospital a popular training site for medical students and junior staff alike.