The building was opened in 1862 and in its time was the first teaching hospital in South Africa. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 2 April 1971. New Somerset Hospital is a government/public organisation. They provide a comprehensive health care service which includes HIV, AIDS and TB-related treatment, care and support services. The Staff provide HIV counselling and testing (HCT) and if necessary do a further test to determine the CD4 count. This Hospital an accredited antiretroviral (ARV) treatment initiation and on-going treatment site. Patients who require further medical care and treatment are referred to George Hospital, which receives referrals from district hospitals and primary health care services; they consult referred patients and train medical officers and professional nurses.