Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto — PICTURE: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE “Did you know? Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital is the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere.”This little fact featured in the wrappers of iconic South African chewing gum brand Chappies for years. But lately, institutions have been claiming it is the “third largest hospital in the world”.The Gauteng provincial department of health says so, Wikipedia states it as fact and the hospital’s own website boasts:“The Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital is the 3rd largest hospital in the world, occupying around 173 acres (0.7km²) with approximately 3 200 beds and about 6 760 staff members. The facilities are housed in 429 buildings with a total surface area of 233 795 m².”Why the hospital’s size was a talking pointChris Hani Baragwanath began its life as a military hospital, serving British troops in the Second World War. Its name was derived from Cornishman John Albert Baragwanath.After 1948, and the establishment o...

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