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Don't lose sight of 'bigger systemic issues': Dal professor cautions in wake of emotional viral video

The viral video has been seen more than three million times so far
Inez Rudderham (CP)
Inez Rudderham

The emotional viral video of Inez Rudderham, the frustrated mother fighting stage 3 cancer has been making the rounds of social media since last week.

With her video being seen over three million times so far, the power of her viral video has once again put the province's troubling doctor shortage back into the spotlight.

In her video, 33-year old Rudderham challenges Nova Scotia's Premier Stephen McNeil to meet with her and tell her there is no healthcare crisis in this province.

Her words have struck a chord with many, and it has once again sparked conversations about the state of healthcare in Nova Scotia.

Dalhousie University professor Howard Ramos, in the department of sociology and social anthropology tells NEWS 95.7 it's hard to see someone suffering and engaging in a situation that seems hopeless.

"It gave a story and a face to a problem that Nova Scotia's been wrestling with for a number of years," says Ramos. "So it ended up giving voice to the statistics that people might have been able to not pay more attention to before, and force a discussion that has been happening in kind of policy debates, but I don't think hit everybody at home as much as this video did."

He says when it comes to viral videos like this, he does have some concerns.

"It's really easy to look at one person's experience, and overlook the bigger systemic issues," says Ramos. "To me, it's really important that we make sure that we also keep the discussion beyond one person, keep the discussion going in terms of access to a family doctor, what's going on in terms of the system as a whole."

As of March 1st, more than 50,000 people who have registered with the province are currently without a family doctor and national figures suggest that number doubles when you take into account the number of people who simply haven't registered at all.

Ramos provides even more examples, saying mental health support is another area where there are gaping holes in the system across the entire country.

"The average person can't get decent access to mental health support unless they're in a moment of crisis, and in fact this is one of the things that we see with a number of issues with Canadian healthcare across all the provinces," explains Ramos. "The system does really well when you're in a moment of crisis, but if you're not in a moment of crisis, you can sometimes fall through the cracks, as is the case with Miss. Inez."

After Rudderham's video went viral, Premier McNeil responded on Twitter expressing his concern over her experience, adding that he reached out immediately to the Nova Scotia Health Authority instructing them to contact Rudderham to get more information about her situation.

Amber LeBrun

About the Author: Amber LeBrun

Following a few years working in finance and insurance, Amber LeBrun is happy to be back following her passion for news and radio.
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