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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the hospital can provide treatment to patients from overseas. Should you require help making an appointment with any of our consultants please contact the hospital for assistance.

No, you do not need private medical insurance to be treated at the hospital. We do offer services as a government institution to medical aid and non medical aid patients for most procedures. For more information on paying for your own treatment at the hospital please contact our hospital administration.

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0800 0323 64

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As he officially received and opened the completed section (Phase 1) of the new Cecelia Makiwane Hospital (CMH) on the 4th February 2016, the Eastern Cape Premier, Honourable Phumulo Masualle referred to the facility as a sight in the “world to come”.

The Premier was referring to the high level technology presented by the new CMH facility which would, as he put it “help manipulate healthcare data to ensure quality, safe and faster delivery of healthcare services”.

The facility effectively offers paperless healthcare administration which will enhance security of medical records, patients queue processing and create interactive clinical record platform. Key elements of the new system include the use of biometric technology, patients pre-booking system using mobile devices, electronic medical record systems which will allow for a computerised decision support tools.The phase 1 handed over to the Premier includes state of the art maternity, paediatric, neonatal and general wards and neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Premier Masualle confirmed that the facility is indeed in line with the National Health Insurance (NHI) stipulations. The NHI calls for ‘drastic improvement’ of infrastructure, patient treatment, information systems and quality control among others and this facility embodies this, says Premier Masualle.

The facility will also address some of the major challenges facing the hospitals besides ailing general infrastructure such as inadequate information systems which adversely affect the quest to provide quality healthcare and exposes health institutions to corruption and abuse of health resources. Maybe of equal importance for the province is that this facility will significantly reduce waiting times and enhance the safety of the patients through both the pre-booking system and electronic medical record system respectively.

The pre-booking system is particularly critical especially considering the geographic nature of the province and the region where there are patients whom having travelled from remote and often secluded areas may end up not receiving medical attention because of long queues, unavailability of space/ beds etc. 

In presenting the portfolio to the Premier, MEC responsible for Health in the Eastern Cape, Dr Pumza Dyantyi focused on additional services offered by the new facility beyond those offered by the old one. These include renal dialyses, day theatre, orthopedic services, standalone psychiatric facility, expanded nursing college and a 500 sitter Amphitheatre for provincial nursing colleges graduation. The facility, 55000 square-meter double storage has a total of 3000 rooms all-inclusive. Its design (double storage) has major efficiency benefits as it has reduced the distance that patients and medical staff have to travel by 75% from the one travelled in the old hospital. The MEC also confirmed that the province has begun implementing the NHI through among others implementation of Ideal Clinics and “this facility is helping us to march towards a full implementation of the scheme”.

The facility is also truly appropriate and designed for the future in that it caters for the young technological inclined generation and remember 56% of CMH clients coming from BCM are young people. The hospital infrastructure also offers more safety and improved working conditions for employees besides reduction of distance travelled within in that it has highly secured parking and ample opportunities to learn. In this regard, CMH has facilities to facilitate distant learning with institutions like Rhodes University where staff can link up and receive lectures from the institution whilst at the CMH Learning Centre.

The official opening paves the way for the Department to start commissioning and begin the tedious process of inspecting and testing the facility. As part of handing over and demonstration on how the system works, the Premier used the patient electronic pre-booking system where he received notification informing him about his appointment date.


Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (CMH) is a provincial referral facility located in the central region of the Eastern Cape, in Mdantsane Township, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. It is named after the first registered black nurse in the world and as such has massive heritage imperatives.

The CMH provides health services to a population of about 2.8 million. It has combined total of 750 beds, made up of 650 regional and 120 district level beds. It offers the biggest bulk of specialist services in the central region.

It supports Frere Hospital which has 800 tertiary beds and Frere offers the biggest bulk of tertiary health services in the central region. Further, CMH services Amathole District and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality Health districts and these have a combined health services capacity of 236 clinics and 8 Community Health Centres (24 hour services). It also services Nkqubela Hospital which has 320 beds, Winterberg Hospital with 100 beds and Tower Mental Hospital with 400 beds

The total construction and commissioning cost of the new CMH facility is R 1.3 billion. The maternity and psychiatry sections in the new facility have been expanded primarily to respond to regional health needs profile and the National Strategy to achieve service delivery goals as revised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

© 2020 Eastern Cape Department of Health