It can not ignore the video of the heart of frustrated patients, say doctors
HALIFAX – A viral video made by a frustrated young mother from Nova Scotia, who says she has been waiting for two years for the diagnosis of cancer, can not be ignored, says the president of the Canadian Medical Association.
Dr. Gigi Osler called the situation described by 33-year-old Ines Rutherderm's "broken heart".
"We need to pay attention to this, because I think it is a sign of the challenges that our healthcare system faces," Osler said in an interview Friday.
In an emotional video on Facebook, seen more than 2.6 million times, Ruderham says she was undiagnosed with anal Phase 3 cancer in two years due to her lack of access to a family doctor.
She says she had to ask for care in the emergency departments and was diagnosed only after three trips to the ER. She also says she will not be able to get the mental health services she needs to cope with the stress caused by her ordeal by July.
Ruderham described the case as "the face of the health crisis in Nova Scotia," and asked to meet with Prime Minister Stephen McNeil.
Osler said the lack of access to primary care is not unique to Nova Scotia – New Brunswick and British Columbia, for example, have similar problems.
She said Canada's health problems are "complex and intertwined" and will not be resolved simply by throwing money into the system.
The ratio of Nova Scotia of 257 doctors to 100,000 people is the highest in the country. And yet, on March 1st, there were 51,119 people in waiting list for a local doctor in the province.
Osler said it may be time for Ottawa to take the lead in dealing with human resources issues, adding that there should be a top-to-bottom examination of the health system from coast to coast.
"We need solutions and some brave leadership," said Osler, whose group represents Canadian doctors.
And while the CMA has no position on whether the Health Care Law in Canada should be reversed, O'Learl said it was time for Canadians to have an "open and sincere discussion" on issues in and around legislation.
For example, she pointed to "excessive" waiting for Ruderham's mental health services.
"Apart from psychiatric care, mental health coverage is not in the Canada Health Care Law, but should it be? Is it time to include mental health services … is it time to think about home care?"
John Malcolm, a former chief executive officer of the Cape Breton Health Service, said he believed there were direct links between primary healthcare defects and missed diagnoses as happened in the Ruderche case.
"The medical doctor knows you when you are healthy and when you are not," he said in an interview.
"When you enter a hospital, whether it's an emergency room, a room for a walk or under special care, they see you as a sick person. They do not know how you are when you are healthy."
This knowledge of a person's medical history and their wider lives often provides a "spark" that helps the doctor to suspect a series of diseases in a young person, a veteran health administrator said.
The solution to the lack of family doctors is part of a wider national problem that will take years to turn around, Malcolm said.
He claims to endanger the health of patients across Canada.
Malcolm said that the provincial governments must increase the number of medical students and ensure that all two-year specialized training places – known as residences – will be filled across the country.
According to data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) in 2017, there are 1,234 doctors and 1,222 specialists for a total doctor of 2.456 in Nova Scotia, serving a population of about 965,382.
Jeff Balinger, head of information for doctors in CIHI, said at this moment there is no way to say what should be preferred, because health care is provided differently in each province.
"There is no reference ratio," Balinger said. "Even if it exists, that benchmark ratio is likely to change over time, as the populations change with regard to aging, etc."
New Scotland's Health Minister Randy Delori said on Friday that the government of the province has recognized public concerns and has taken measures to recruit and retain doctors, including international recruitment.
He also pointed to an increase in the number of residences of 10 for family doctors and 15 for specialists trained in the province.
"It is in response to the recognition that when the doctor trains and completes the stay training, they are more likely to stay set up practice," Delorie said.
He said he believes the province's efforts "are starting to pay off".
"Are we all there?" No. Will we continue our efforts? "
In her video, Ruderham says she received 30 cycles of pelvic radiation, which left her "barren and barren."
Rudderham says she was cleansed when she was taking health care problems in an emergency.
"It's all right, is not it? Because they caught him. They caught him when it was phase 3," said Ruderham, a broken one.
"The Prime Minister of Nova Scotia, I dare to meet you … and tell me that there is no health crisis."
Dr Gerry Ernest, the newly elected President of Doctors Nova Scotia, says the video shows that the lack of a family doctor in the province is a "health crisis".
John Gillis, a spokeswoman for the Health Care Department in Nova Scotia, said Friday's officials saw the video and were "hit" by it, and approached Ruderham to address her concerns.
"Her story reminds all of us why we work in healthcare – day by day we want to help Nova Scotia to be good, and take care of them when they are ill," he said in a statement.
– With files from Michael Tutton
Keith Duquette, the Canadian press