'The face of health-care crisis': Cancer patient calls out N.S. premier in viral video
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Atlantic
Published Thursday, April 25, 2019 2:26PM EDT
A Nova Scotia mom tearfully called out Premier Stephen McNeil in a video that has gone viral, saying her cancer went undiagnosed for years because of the province’s broken health care system.
“I am a 33-year-old mother. I went undiagnosed with anal cancer for two years because I did not have access to a family doctor,” Inez Rudderham said in a Facebook video.
“I fought. I fought for my life, but there’s no health care crisis,” she said sarcastically. “Three ERs I went to before someone would listen to me.”
Since it was posted on Tuesday, her video has garnered over 1.4 million views and 46,000 shares. Many in the comments section were sympathetic to her plight.
“To the premier of Nova Scotia, I dare you to take a meeting with me and look into my eyes and tell me there is no health-care crisis in my province of Nova Scotia,” she said, as she wiped away tears.
Rudderham said doctors eventually noticed her advanced cancer and she began radiation.
“It’s OK right? Because they caught it. They caught it when it was Stage 3,” she said, adding that 30 rounds of radiation she received to her pelvis had left her “barren and infertile.”
Critics have lambasted the issues plaguing Nova Scotia’s health care system, which includes a shortage of family doctors, overcrowded emergency rooms and entire medical facilities being closed.
Rudderham also said she’s been waiting since January to receive counselling from the province’s mental health services, and was recently told she’d have to keep waiting for an appointment until the summer.
“I cannot receive help for trauma I experienced because of this failed system until July,” she said. “What about my daughter? My four year-old-daughter that doesn’t have me there, fully, because I need help and I’m not receiving it?”
A GoFundMe page for Rudderham, which was started nine months ago by her aunt, had raised more than $10,000 as of Thursday afternoon. The page shows the family hopes to raise $15,000.
Before ending her video, she challenges the premier again saying: “this is the face of the health-care crisis in Nova Scotia and I dare you to tell me otherwise.”
On Thursday, McNeil told CTV Atlantic that he had watched part of the video and that he has asked representatives from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness to reach out to her.
Although the premier admitted there are challenges with the health care system, he stopped short of calling it a crisis.