In Practice

The mechanics of setting up a COVID-19 response: Experiences of the COVID-19 epidemic from Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

M Mendelson, L Booyens, A Boutall, L Cairncross, G Calligaro, J A Dave, S Dlamini, S Dyer, B Eick, K Fieggen, P Frankenfeld, J Hoare, R Hofmeyr, J Joska, J Joubert, R Krause, A Kropman, D Levin, D Maughan, G Meintjes, E Muller, N Ntusi, N Papavarnavas, B Patel, J Peter, P Raubenheimer, S Said-Hartley, P Singh, S Wasserman, on behalf of the Groote Schuur Hospital COVID-19 Response Team*

Abstract


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has challenged the provision of healthcare in ways that are unprecedented in our lifetime. Planning for the sheer numbers expected during the surge has required public hospitals to de-escalate all non-essential clinical services to focus on COVID-19. Western Cape Province was the initial epicentre of the COVID-19 epidemic in South Africa (SA), and the Cape Town metro was its
hardest-hit geographical region. We describe how we constructed our COVID-19 hospital-wide clinical service at Groote Schuur Hospital, the University of Cape Town’s tertiary-level teaching hospital. By describing the barriers and enablers, we hope to provide guidance rather than a blueprint for hospitals elsewhere in SA and in low-resource countries that face similar challenges now or during subsequent waves.


Authors' affiliations

M Mendelson, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

L Booyens, Groote Schuur Hospital, Western Cape Department of Health, South Africa

A Boutall, Division of General Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

L Cairncross, Division of General Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

G Calligaro, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Pulmonology, Groote Schuur Hospital, Western Cape Province Department of Health, South Africa

J A Dave, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Endocrinology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

S Dlamini, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

S Dyer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

B Eick, Groote Schuur Hospital, Western Cape Department of Health, South Africa

K Fieggen, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

P Frankenfeld, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

J Hoare, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

R Hofmeyr, Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

J Joska, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

J Joubert, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

R Krause, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

A Kropman, Division of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

D Levin, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

D Maughan, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

G Meintjes, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

E Muller, Division of General Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

N Ntusi, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

N Papavarnavas, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

B Patel, Groote Schuur Hospital, Western Cape Department of Health, South Africa

J Peter, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

P Raubenheimer, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

S Said-Hartley, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

P Singh, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

S Wasserman, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

on behalf of the Groote Schuur Hospital COVID-19 Response Team*, Groote Schuur Hospital COVID-19 Response Team – see supplementary file for full list

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South African Medical Journal 0;0(0):.

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-09-07
Date published: 2020-09-07

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