At the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town (RXH), interventional cardiac catheterisation is well developed, and we are able to perform most of the procedures of a modern paediatric cardiac catheterisation laboratory. In addition, we have developed a system, called CATHCHAT, whereby our catheterisation procedures can be transmitted live online.

While we are proficient in most interventional procedures, none of us are specifically qualified interventionalists. We are generalist paediatric cardiologists with interests in diverse aspects of paediatric cardiology, some with more experience in interventional procedures than others. It is one of the reasons that we have developed CATHCHAT: for us to learn from remote experts.


A/Prof Rik De Decker
A/Prof Rik De DeckerAssociate Professor, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Director of the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory and CATHCHAT.
A/Prof John Lawrenson
A/Prof John LawrensonHead of the Paediatric Cardiology Service of the Western Cape
Dr George Comitis
Dr George ComitisConsultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
Dr Barend Fourie
Dr Barend FourieConsultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.
A/Prof Liesl Zühlke
A/Prof Liesl ZühlkeConsultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Red Cross Children's Hospital
Dr Harold Pribut
Dr Harold PributPaediatric Cardiologist at Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital
Dr Evans Mulendele
Dr Evans MulendeleSenior Registrar in Paediatric Cardiology, RXH
Dr Mark Willoughby
Dr Mark WilloughbySenior Registrar in Paediatric Cardiology, RXH
Dr Lenise Swanson
Dr Lenise SwansonConsultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Red Cross Children's Hospital
Sr Heather Bentham
Sr Heather BenthamCath Lab Sister in Charge
Sr Charnette Elliott
Sr Charnette ElliottCath Lab Sister and the Patient Liaison Sister
Ms Yanita Singh
Ms Yanita SinghCardiac Technologist
Ms Shanaaz Omer
Ms Shanaaz OmerCardiac Technologist
Ms Esme Petersen
Ms Esme PetersenRadiographer
Ms Lorraine Jonas
Ms Lorraine JonasRadiographer
Mr Andre Gouws
Mr Andre GouwsSenior Manager, Kathea
Mr Gary Skinner
Mr Gary SkinnerSenior Tech Guru, Kathea
Mr Jerome Corns
Mr Jerome CornsHead of IT, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

CATHCHAT in context

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa celebrated it’s 60th year in 2016. It is a public hospital of the Department of Health of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, and the only dedicated children’s-only hospital in South Africa. It has a proud history of service to the health and wellbeing of children of families generally without medical insurance. As a public hospital it suffers resource constraints, but nevertheless remains the premier children’s hospital in South Africa with an international reputation of excellence.

Official website:

Children’s Hospital Trust website:

The Red Cross Heart Unit

The “Red Cross Heart Unit” is not formally constituted, but is a description of all services that assist in the care of children with heart disease at Red Cross Children’s Hospital. It therefore comprises of paediatric cardiologists, paediatric heart surgeons, as well as anaesthetists, intensivists, cardiac technologists, cardiac nursing staff, and all others that contribute to the management of paediatric heart disease.

CATHCHAT in the Heart Unit

CATHCHAT falls within the Red Cross Heart Unit and is based in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory at Red Cross Hospital. All paediatric cardiac catheterisations in the public health service of the Western Cape are done in the Red Cross Hospital cath lab, and can be broadcast over CATHCHAT. Further details are given under “How it works” in this webpage.