Tristan da Cunha's hospital is manned by expatriate doctors and local nurses, with regular visits by dentists and optometrists. It often helps to treat casualties from maritime emergencies.

The Camogli Healthcare Centre, usually referred to as the hospital, was built and equiped in 2016/2017 to the latest UK National Health Service standards and was officially opened on 7th June 2017. It is located in the south western corner of the settlement below the previous hospital (built in 1971), which is now used by the veterinarians and for general storage. The new hospital was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) with the intention the improved facilities would allow more procedures to be performed locally by visiting specialists, and therefore reduce the need for expensive referrals to Cape Town.

Please see our separate Tristan Healthcare History and Camogli Healthcare Centre Construction pages for more information on the old hospital and the building of the new facility.

Exterior view of the hospital from the drive

Exterior view of the hospital from the drive

Staff and Services

There are normally two expatriate doctors on the island, who provide 24 hour cover. They often return to Tristan for further terms of duty. There are also normally two expatriate and four local nurses, as well as two dental technicians, a hospital manager and ancillary staff. The medical staff deal with day to day medical matters, handle emergency cases, and undertake minor surgery. More complex and serious cases are transported to Cape Town for treatment, as all expectant mothers for their deliveries.

Usually, the doctors employed by the island as well as having a broad background in general practice also need to complement each other in case a surgical procedure needs to be done. One must be able to administer anaesthesia (general or regional), and the other able to operate cases such as ectopic pregnancies, appendicitis, bowel obstruction, open and closed fractures, dislocated joints, etc. The remoteness of the island, the lack of an airport, the unpredictable weather conditions sometimes closing the harbour, and the limited availability of ships (only 8-9 per year) are just some of the reasons why the staff employed have to be multiskilled.

A dentist from the UK visits Tristan annually and an optometrist every other year, usually on the regular September Agulhas II voyage. They aim to examine and where necessary treat every islander during their stay.

In addition, there are occasional visits by other specialists when the opportunity arises. For instance, an ophthalmic surgeon visited Tristan in 2019 who undertook a number of eye operations. You can read an article about this visit in the Tristan da Cunha Newsletter. This type of arrangement would not have been possible in the old hospital. Apart from the obvious medical benefit, this also avoided the need for numerous costly visits by patients to Cape Town of a month or more duration for what may only be a 30 minute procedure. Tourist visitors to Tristan sometimes include one or more medical specialists. They are usually happy to see island patients if time permits.

We are always pleased to hear from other clinicians interested in making short visits to the hospital to use their expertise to improve the health of the islanders. See the contact details below.

Camogli Hospital Staff, January 2020

Staff Jan. 2020 - Front row (L-R): Carol Swain (Secretary), Theresa Green (Dental Technician), Vera Glass (Clinical Manager)
Back row: Rhyanna Swain (Nurse), Kumi Joubert (Nurse), Michelle Green (Dental Technician), Clive Glass (Clinical Technician), Alex Wonner (Doctor), Donna Green (Nurse) and Conchita Repetto (Nurse)


The hospital has the following facilities:

  • A spacious reception and waiting area
  • 2 doctors' consulting rooms
  • 2 patient wards. These normally have one bed each, but can accommodate two if necessary
  • A nursing station
  • A patient and family area with a library and refreshment facilities
  • An extensive dispensary
  • An Emergency treatment room
  • An X-ray room
  • A small pathology laboratory
  • A large operating theatre
  • A sterilisation suite
  • 2 dental surgery rooms
  • A dental laboratory
  • An ambulance
Receptionist Reception area wall art
Reception and the patient waiting area

Dr Alex Wonner in his consulting room

Consulting room examination table

Dr Alex Wonner in one of the consulting rooms

Below left: Consulting room examination table

Below right: Ophthalmic slit light

Consulting room ophthalmic slit light

One of the patient wards. Normally, there is only one bed, but two can be accommodated when necessary

Bed in ward - from the door Beds in ward - from by the window

Nursing station

Patient and family area
Left: Nursing station

Above and below: Patient and family area
Patient and family area - bookcases

Emergency treatment room Dispensary
The emergency treatment room The dispensary
X-ray room X-ray room
X-ray room

Operating theatre

The operating theatre

The dental surgery

Above: One of the dental surgeries

Right: Views of the Dental laboratory

Dental laboratory

Dental laboratory

Sterilisation suite Corridor with wall art
Sterilisation suite Corridor with wall art
The ambulance The ambulance
The ambulance - the siren and flashing lights have never had to be used.

Exterior view of the hospital from below

Exterior view of the hospital from below

For further information about the hospital, please contact the Medical Officer (