Docci delves into trauma experienced by SA doctors

A documentary exploring the mental effects of the 30-hour work shift on doctors has brought to light the strain that medical professionals work under.

The documentary, titled Documentally: Last doctor standing, features five doctors and captures their experiences while on the job. It is expected to debut at the Joburg Film Festival in a few weeks.

The filmmaker, Francois Whal, said it was important for people to understand the kind of trauma that doctors are faced with throughout their careers.

Earlier this year, the National Department of Health intervened after a junior doctor in Paarl died in a car accident while returning from a 30-hour work shift. She fell asleep while driving, sparking concerns about the long working hours.

The Western Cape MEC for Health, Nomafrench Mbombo, announced that the 30-hour shift rule would be reduced to a 24-hour working day.

It's quite gruesome. There's patients coming in with stab wounds and people might need a tough stomach to watch it.

Francois Whal, filmmaker

It's frightening to see how much pain there is in the world that these doctors face every day, and this was just on one day.

Francois Whal, filmmaker

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