The Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT has the oldest medical school in Southern Africa. Its core business is research in medical and allied fields and the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students in a large range of health care-related disciplines. Its campus extends from its main teaching hospitals - Groote Schuur and Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospitals in Cape Town - to a range of secondary hospitals and primary care health care clinics throughout and beyond the Cape Peninsula.
Since its inception as the Faculty of Medicine in 1912, the Faculty has steadily built its reputation as an academic institution of international quality and standing. Some famous breakthroughs in health care, amongst which the first successful heart transplant in the world in 1967 and the pioneering research which led to the development of the CAT scanner, placed the Faculty and Groote Schuur Hospital on the map as a world-class facility in sophisticated, tertiary medicine.
The Faculty has a well-developed research ethos. Its research can be broadly categorised into five main areas: public health and policy; laboratory sciences; clinical medical sciences; epidemiology; and rehabilitation medicine and medical support systems. Because of the quality of its research and the volume of its research output, the Faculty has for decades been ranked top of the list of medical schools in South Africa by the Medical Research Council, South Africa's key national statutory body that promotes medical research in the country.