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Family Medicine

  • About Us

    Head of Division:  Associate Professor Klaus von Pressentin MBChB Stell MMed (Family Medicine) Stell FCFP SA PhD Stell


           Follow @klausvon


    Welcome to the Division of Family Medicine

    Family Medicine has been an independent Division in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine since 2001 and is involved in multidisciplinary community-based teaching and learning with a strong focus on primary care.

    According to McWhinney & Freeman (2009), family physicians:

    1. Are committed to the person rather than to a particular body of knowledge, group of diseases, or special technique
    2. Seek to understand the context of the illness
    3. See every contact with their patient as an opportunity for prevention or health education
    4. View the patients in their practice as a population at risk
    5. See themselves as part of a community-wide network of supportive and healthcare agencies
    6. Should ideally share the same habitat as their patients
    7. See patients in their homes
    8. Attach importance to the subjective aspects of medicine
    9. Manage resources

    Reference: Textbook of Family Medicine: Ian R. McWhinney; Thomas Freeman (Third Edition) 2009 Oxford University Press pages 13-16.

    Teaching within the Division

    Becoming a Doctor course which spans the second and third years of the curriculum. The course is comprised of three strands which include Family Medicine, Clinical Skills and Languages (isiXhosa and Afrikaans). 

    Eight week 4th year MBChB Primary Health Care block run jointly with other divisions in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. 

    Four week 6th year block which students spend at a Community Health Facility either in an urban or rural area and at a Hospice for the Palliative Care portion of their training.

    The discipline of Family Medicine was registered as a speciality in 2007 and we accepted our first intake of registrars into the MMed (Family Medicine) training programme in 2008. The registrars do their training at regional, secondary and district level facilities.  We also offer a postgraduate diploma course in Family Medicine.

    The Division is involved in many individual and collaborative research projects.

    Palliative Medicine forms part of the Division of Family Medicine and is integrated into the undergraduate teaching programmes. It offers its own postgraduate diploma and degree courses. 

    There is strong collaboration with all Departments of Family Medicine in South Africa through the Education and Training Sub-Committee of the South African Academy of Family Practice/ Primary Care and the College of Family Physicians in the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. It has established links with other African universities as well as with other international higher education institutions.  Family practitioners in private practice also assist with the teaching programme.

    You can find more information about our undergraduate teaching, postgraduate teaching, clinical services, research, staff and links.

    Contact Information:

    Division of Family Medicine
    School of Public Health and Family Medicine
    Faculty of Health Sciences
    University of Cape Town
    South Africa

    Administrative Assistant: Ms Fundiswa Mpetsheni
    Tel: +27 21 406 6510
    Fax:+27 21 406 6667
    Email:  Fundiswa Mpetsheni

  • Undergraduate Teaching

  • Postgraduate Teaching

  • Clinical Services

    Clinical services are provided by a team of Family Physicians, Medical Officers and Registrars at various sites within the Western Cape.  Family Medicine principles are incorporated within the range of services provided.

    Range of services provided: 

    • Family Medicine
    • Ambulatory & In-patient Care of Adults and Children
    • Anaesthestics
    • Minor Surgical Services  
    • Paediatrics
    • Internal Medicine
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Orthopaedics
    • HIV/AIDS management
    • Obstetrics & Gynaecology


    Sites of service delivery

    Regional Hospitals:

    Somerset Hospital

    Victoria Hospital


    District Hospitals:

    Mitchells Plain District Hospital

    Vredenburg District Hospital


    Community Health Centres:

    Cross Roads Community Health Centre

    Gugulethu Community Health Centre

    Hanover Park Community Health Centre

    Heideveld Community Health Centre

    Lotus River Community Health Centre

    Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre

    Retreat Community Health Centre

    Vanguard Community Health Centre

  • Research

    The Division of Family Medicine research focus is mainly directed towards action research related to the state health services at the primary and district levels of care. The areas we are concentrating on are:

    • Chronic diseases of lifestyle - effective auditing and cost-effective management of patients
    • Quality of care indicators for primary care outcomes including the use of the PCAT tool and PROMS (patient related outcome measures in Palliative Care)
    • Improving access to health care at the clinic, CHC and District Hospital levels for example waiting times, language barriers etc.
    • Partnering with the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Unit and the Mitchell's Plain District Hospital (MDHS), Western Cape Government Department of Health, in identifying suitable student projects which could be developed further to improve services
    • Educational research related to the courses we teach
  • Links

  • Staff

    Klaus von Pressentin, Associate Professor and Head of Division


    Email:  Klaus.Vonpressentin@uct.ac.za

    Phone:  021 406 6510




    A/Prof Klaus B von Pressentin joined the University of Cape Town in May 2020 as an Associate Professor and Head of the Family Medicine Division in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. He worked previously as a family physician within the Mossel Bay and Langeberg sub-districts of the Western Cape Department of Health in South Africa. He also worked previously as a senior lecturer in the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care at Stellenbosch University, where he obtained his PhD which focused on evaluating the contribution of family physicians towards strengthening the district health system of South Africa. His research interests lie in primary care, human resources for health, health system strengthening and health professions education. His voluntary activities include serving as the editor-in-chief of the South African Family Practice journal (the official journal of the South African Academy of Family Physicians), serving as an examiner for the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, as well as serving on the editorial board of BJGP Open. His passion lies in working with colleagues from across the globe towards strengthening the scholarly foundation of the discipline of family medicine and primary care.

    Mosedi Namane, Associate Professor

    Email:  Mosedi.Namane@uct.ac.za

    Phone:  021 695 8200

    Senior Lecturers Full-time

    Name Email Telephone No
    Nazlie Beckett 021 406 7710
    Neal David 021 406 6510
    Angela de Sa 021 712 5105
    Elma de Vries 021 406 6510
    Abdul Isaacs 021 391 7991
    Rene Krause 021 406-6707
    Liesl Morales Perez 021 406 6510
    Tasleem Ras 021 650 5221
    Beverley Schweitzer 021 406 6441
    Dianne Matthews 021 406 6189

    Lecturers Part-time

    Name Email Telephone No
    Alan Barnard 021 406 6707
    Cameron Bruce 021 406 6707
    Maggie de Swart 021 406 6590
    Lindsay Farrant 021 406 6707
    Michelle Meiring 021 406 6707
    Sadick Saban 021 406 6421
    Haniem Salie  

    Emeritus Associate Professors

    Derek Hellenberg
    Liz Gwyther

    Adjunct Associate Professor

    Graham Bresick

    Honorary Professor

    Richard Harding

    Honorary Associate Professors

    Patrick Mazaza
    Shailendra Prasad

    Honorary Senior Lecturers

    Kaashiefah Adamson
    Felicia Christians
    Jennie Morgan
    Julian Te Riele
    Jeremie Venter

    Honorary Lecturers

    Stephen Craven
    Jalaluddin Dhansay
    Allie Jardine
    George Petros
    Karen Stammer


    Name Year
    S Dadla 1st
    O Ferndale 1st
    T Rubler 1st
    A Saunders 1st
    J Weenink 1st
    S Engelbrecht 2nd
    J Ribeiro 2nd
    L Profitt 3rd
    R Jansen 3rd
    T Davids 3rd
    C Ezulu 3rd
    B Baheir 3rd
    M le Roux 3rd
    R Ortell 4th
    F Dookith 4th
    J Etonu 4th
    N Amien 4th
    A Ashwedi 4th
    G Hofmeyr 5th
    J Steyn 5th
    A Karki 5th
    H Stofberg 5th
    L Snyders 5th
    B Machina 5th
    S Ohiagu 5th
    A Anele 5th

    Administrative Staff

    Name Description Email Telephone No
    Bernadette Bredekamp Administrative Assistant (BaDr) 021 406 6805
    Manisha Chavda Administrative Assistant (6th Yr Family Medicine) 021 406 6421
    Naomi Fray Administrative Assistant (Palliative Care) 021 406 6707
    Fundiswa Mpetsheni Administrative Assistant (Division & Family Medicine PG) 021 406 6510
  • Publications

    Journal articles

  • Journal articles


    • How well do we teach the primary healthcare approach? A case study of health sciences course documents, educators, and students at the University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences, J Irlam, M I Datay, S Reid, M Alperstein, N Hartman, M Namane, S Singh, F Walters. Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med. 2020.



    • Older persons’ experience with health care at two primary level clinics in Cape Town, South Africa: qualitative assessment, Tsepo Motsohi1, Mosedi Namane1,2, Augustine Chidi Anele1, Mumtaz Abbas1, Sebastiana Zimba Kalula. BJGP Open. 2020 Aug 25;4(3)
    • The primary care provider’s role in providing supportive and palliative care for patients in chronic renal failure, René Krause 1, Nicola Wearne, Tsepo Motsohi, Bianca Davidson. S Afr Fam Pract (2004). 2020 Dec 11;62(1).
    • A framework for implementation of community orientated primary care in the Metro Health Services, Cape Town, South Africa, Robert Mash, Charlyn Goliath, Hassan Mahomed, Steve Reid, Derek Hellenberg, Gio Perez. Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med. 2020; 12(1): 2632.
    • Mastering your fellowship, Klaus B. von Pressentin, Mergan Naidoo, Bob Mash, Andrew Ross, Tasleem Ras. South African Family Practice | Vol 59, No 6: November/December 2020.
    • Family medicine internship support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Cape Town, South Africa - A narrative report, Vairones’ Solomon 1, Ayesha Allie, Raeesah Fakier, Daniel Tadmor, Kamaludin Ashtiker, Colyn Le Roux, Junaid Omar, Mosedi Namane. Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med. 2020 Nov 6;12(1)
    •  The Cape Town International Convention Centre from the inside: The family physicians’ view of the ‛Hospital of Hope’, Steve Reid, Tasleem Ras, Klaus von Pressentin. African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine 2020.
    • Osteoarthritis in 2020 and beyond: a Lancet Commission, Nigel Arden, Jocelyn Bowden, Andrew Briggs, Leigh Callahan, Cyrus Cooper, Marita Cross, Krysia Dziedzic, Rolando Espinosa, Kai Fu, Francis Guillemin, David J Hunter (Co-Chair), Teppo Järvinen, Stefan Lohmander, Elena Losina, Lyn March (Co-Chair), Heather McKay, YiFang Mei, Stephen Messier, Ali Mobasheri, Mosedi Namane, Tuhina Neogi, Michael Nicholas, George Peat, Ester Penserga, May Arna Risberg, Saeid Safiri, Saurab Sharma, Regina Sit, Rosa Weiss Telles, and Marianna Vitalon. CrossMark 2020.
    • Evaluation of patient characteristics, management, and outcomes for COVID-19 at district hospitals in the Western Cape, South Africa: descriptive observational study, Robert James Mash 1, Mellisa Presence-Vollenhoven, Adeloye Adeniji, Renaldo Christoffels, Karlien Doubell, Lawson Eksteen, Amee Hendrikse, Lauren Hutton, Louis Jenkins, Paul Kapp, Annie Lombard, Heleen Marais, Liezel Rossouw, Katrin Stuve, Abi Ugoagwu, Beverley Williams.  BMJ Open. 2021.
    • Amitriptyline prescribing in public sector healthcare facilities in the Western Cape, South Africa, Renier Coetzee, Yasmina Johnson, Johan van Niekerk, Mosedi Namane. PLOS ONE 2020.
    • The state of family medicine training programmes within the Primary Care and Family Medicine Education network, Klaus B. von Pressentin, Innocent Besigye, Robert Mash, Zelra Malan. African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine 2020.
    • Community-based screening and testing for Coronavirus in Cape Town, South Africa: Short report, Neal David 1, Robert Mash. Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med 2020.
    • The evolving role of family physicians during the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis: An appreciative reflection, Louis S. Jenkins, Klaus B. von Pressentin, Kartik Naidoo, Rachel Schaefer. Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med 2020.
    • Spiritual Care, Pain Reduction, and Preferred Place of Death Among Advanced Cancer Patients in Soweto, South Africa, Mpho Ratshikana-Moloko, Oluwatosin Ayeni, Jacob M Tsitsi, Michelle L Wong, Judith S Jacobson, Alfred I Neugut, Mfanelo Sobekwa, Maureen Joffe, Keletso Mmoledi, Charmaine L Blanchard 9, Witness Mapanga, Paul Ruff 11, Herbert Cubasch, Daniel S O'Neil, Tracy A Balboni, Holly G Prigerson. J Pain Symptom Manage 2020.
    • Debate: Why should gender-affirming health care be included in health science curricula? Elma de Vries, Harsha Kathard & Alex Müller. BMC Medical Education 2020.
    • Training family physicians: A qualitative exploration of experiences of registrars in a family medicine training programme in Cape Town, South Africa, Tasleem Ras 1, Beverley Schweitzer, Graham Bresick, Derek Hellenberg. S Afr Fam Pract (2004) 2020.