Frustrated patient’s viral video demonstrates N.S. ‘health crisis,’ doctors say

Doctors Nova Scotia says a viral video made by a frustrated young mother who says she waited two years for her cancer diagnosis demonstrates the province’s troubling family doctor shortage.

President-elect Dr. Gary Ernest says the idea that there are people who can’t get help for minor problems, let alone for more serious health issues, constitutes “a health crisis.”

In an emotional Facebook video that has been viewed more than 2.5 million times and struck a national chord, Inez Rudderham says she went undiagnosed with Stage 3 anal cancer for two years due to her lack of access to a family doctor.

The 33-year-old Rudderham described her case as the “face of the health-care crisis in Nova Scotia,” and has asked to meet with Premier Stephen McNeil.

Ernest noted that Rudderham had to seek care in emergency departments, which he says are not set up to do primary care in ways that a family doctor who knows the patient would.

On Thursday McNeil said his government is trying to update an antiquated health system, and said other jurisdictions face similar issues.

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