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

President-elect Gary Ernest of Doctors Nova Scotia 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 Ms. Rudderham described her case as the “face of the health-care crisis in Nova Scotia,” and has asked to meet with Premier Stephen McNeil.

Dr. Ernest noted that Ms. 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 Mr. McNeil said his government is trying to update an antiquated health system, and said other jurisdictions face similar issues.

Provincial health officials were trying to meet with Ms. Rudderham.

As of March 1, 51,119 people who have registered with the province are currently without a family doctor. National figures place that figure at closer to 100,000, when the number of people who haven’t registered are taken into account.

According to 2017 figures from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Nova Scotia has 1,234 family doctors and 1,222 specialists for an overall physician total of 2,456, serving a population of about 965,382.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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