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Health

Woman’s angry health-care plea to Nova Scotia premier goes viral

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HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia mother who says she waited two years for her cancer diagnosis has released a viral, highly emotional video calling out Premier Stephen McNeil for not declaring a health-care crisis in the province.

“To the premier of Nova Scotia, I dare you to take a meeting with me … and tell me there is no health-care crisis,” Inez Rudderham, 33, said in a viral Facebook video that has been viewed over 1.5 million times.

In the tearful, emotionally charged video, the mother of a four-year-old daughter said she went undiagnosed with Stage 3 anal cancer for two years due to her lack of access to a family doctor.

Rudderham states she has received 30 rounds of radiation to her pelvis, which has left her “barren and infertile.” When taking her health concerns to the emergency rooms, Rudderham says she was brushed off.

“It’s OK though, right? Because they caught it. They caught it when it was Stage 3,” says a teary Rudderham, her head swathed in a scarf.

“I fought. I fought for my life.”

Rudderham also says she has been waiting for mental health services since January, only to find out this month that she can only get an appointment in mid-July.

“You want to tell me that there’s no health-care crisis in my province?”

There were 55,801 people on a waiting list for a family physician in Nova Scotia, or about six per cent of the province’s population, as of Dec. 1.

“There are not enough physicians to meet the health-care needs of Nova Scotians,” a report released in January by Doctors Nova Scotia said. “We believe that every Nova Scotian deserves access to a family physician.”

McNeil said Thursday he’s asked health officials to meet with Rudderham, and will wait for word from them.

“I obviously feel for this person, I did see part of the video. I’ve asked the department to reach out, to be in contact with her to find out the issues that she has and how we can best ensure that she gets the appropriate treatment but also the appropriate supports,” he told reporters. 

The video posted on Tuesday has been shared more than 61,000 times. A crowdfunding campaign for Rudderham has raised over $11,000.

“This is the face of the health-care crisis in Nova Scotia, and I dare you to tell me otherwise,” she says, pointing to her own face.

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

“There are challenges in the health care system in … access to primary care, we’ve always acknowledged that,” McNeil said.

(Global News, The Canadian Press)

On the web: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.inez/videos/10156155486545812/

The Canadian Press

Health

Health Canada announces changes aimed at dropping prices of patented drugs

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patented drugs

OTTAWA — The federal government says it is making changes that will better protect Canadians from excessive drug prices and make patented medicines more affordable.

Health Canada is unveiling long-awaited changes to patented medicine regulations —a move Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor bills as the biggest step to lower drug prices in a generation.

The amendments include allowing what’s known as the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board to consider whether the price of a drug reflects the value it has for patients.

The change also includes adjusting the list of countries Canada uses to compare itself when setting drug prices, so that prices are judged against countries that look like Canada in terms of population, economy and approach to health care.

Health Canada says Canadians pay among the highest patented drug prices in the world, after only the United States and Switzerland.

It says the amendments will save Canadians approximately $13 billion over 10 years on patented drug costs.

The Canadian Press

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Community

Edmonton community members explore using the Emergency Room as an entry point to transitional housing

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Is there a better way than simply releasing a person experiencing homelessness from the hospital back onto the street? It creates an endless cycle of emergency room visits and escalating costs, not to mention the challenges the patients face in having a successful recovery.

As we continue to look for solutions to homelessness in our city, a group of community members from different fields and backgrounds met recently to brainstorm and discuss alternatives to the practice of releasing patients into a state of homelessness.

That’s a long way of saying that if someone experiencing homelessness comes to an emergency room with a need for medical aid, the only alternative once treated is to release the patient back onto the street.  The chances of recovery are greatly diminished, while the probability of return visits increases.  The costs are severe, both to the person experiencing homelessness and to our ever-more expensive health care system.

Spearheading the initiative is Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, a veteran emergency room physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.

Watch this short video to hear from some of those involved and to better understand the concept and learn why there is a growing groundswell of support for this idea.

 

There are many ways that people can get involved with this initiative.  It’s common sense that housing and health are interconnected. Finding solutions to chronic homelessness and easing pressure on our health care system is something we can all get behind.

Please contact Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti directly to learn more about the project and how you can help:

Phone 780.932-7187

lfrances@ualberta.ca

 

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