The young doctors of Doc-U-Mentally
A year ago five young doctors featured in the shocking documentary Doc-U-Mentally on their 30-hour shift at a KZN hospital. We find what they’re doing now
IT STUNNED viewers with its graphic depiction of a back-breaking 30hour shift for five young junior doctors in rural KwaZulu-Natal. The harsh environment, the crippling conditions, the messy and chaotic processes all seen through the eyes of five men and women dedicated to saving lives. Given the critical state of public healthcare in SA, the film Doc-U-Mentally was an eye-opener for anyone who hadn’t experienced the nuts and bolts of it firsthand.
And it was a hit, winning a Safta for best cinematography and best South African documentary at the 2016 Jozi Film Festival.
The doccie directed by Francois Wahl, a chartered accountant who always dreamt of making movies, was shot in Ngwelezana Hospital in Empangeni and pulled no punches, showing harrowing scenes as the doctors battled their way through their gruelling shift.
The film features Francois’ brother, Dr Lourens Wahl, and four other young doctors, Wanele Ganya, Yenzi Ngema, Amy Salvesen and Saishrien Rasen.
A year after the movie made waves in Mzansi, we catch up with the five doctors to see how their lives have changed since their compulsory government service.
Doc-U-Mentally editor Bryan Bartle with audio technician Nicole Meyer, cinematographer Andre Meyer and director Francois Wahl.