The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Groote Schuur Hospital, Dr Bhavna Patel will be putting down her stethoscope after 23 years.
She is officially retiring on Wednesday, January 31.
Twenty-three years ago, Dr Patel started as a public health registrar at the hospital and served in various senior management positions at Groote Schuur Hospital.
In 2013, she was appointed as the hospital’s CEO and steered it through its journey where it has become a world-class facility over the past 10 years.
Groote Schuur Hospital spokesperson, Alaric Jacobs said Dr Patel has been pivotal in the growth of the hospital during her tenure.
“During her tenure, Dr Patel has been pivotal in leading the hospital through a period of growth, innovation, and challenges, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, where Groote Schuur was a beacon of hope for many patients,” Jacobs said.
“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.”
He said Dr Patel also initiated a leadership development programme for the hospital’s management team that 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,” Jacobs said.
“She will be remembered for her unwavering commitment and dedication to her staff. One of her major investments in staff wellbeing was the opening of the Groote Schuur Hospital Staff Wellness Unit.”
Dr Patel, along with her team of managers and health professional spearheaded many legacy projects and operations improvements in the functioning of the hospital which includes the opening of the Neonatal Unit in 2015, the new hospital entrance in 2021, and the Adolescents Unit in 2022.
“Through these projects, the services at Groote Schuur Hospital continue to demonstrate how it values the dedicated contribution made by staff towards quality patient care,” Jacobs said.
Dr Patel expressed her appreciation to her colleagues 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,” Dr Patel said.
“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.”
Head of Department for the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness, Dr Keith Cloete said Dr Patel served the people of the Western Cape and beyond with distinction as CEO, and part of the senior management team of the department.
“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,” Dr Cloete said.
“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 a colleague and friend over the years. I wish her well in her retirement.”