Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
History: 1939-1948 DEPRESSION DEVELOPMENTS, 19301939 NATIONAL SYSTEM, NATIONAL FAILURE? : WAR, RECONSTRUCTION AND HEALTH SECURITY FOR CANADIANS, 1939–1948 PUBLIC OR PRIVATE? VOLUNTARY OR COMPULSORY? : HOSPITAL CARE FOR CANADIANS, 1948–1958


Introduction

On September 1, 1939, when German panzer divisions rolled into Poland, few Canadians would have guessed that the Second World War would last until May 8, 1945 in Europe and August 15 in the Japanese theatre. Even fewer would have expected the Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King to embark on a program of social welfare policies that became the foundation of modern Canadian life. But, as the Canadian economy recovered from the devastation of the 1930s and full employment developed through the creation of war industries, federal civil servants began to plan for the future. Health insurance was once more on the political agenda. But was this a project that would be supported by the public? By politicians? By doctors and other health care professionals? As we will see, each group had its own reasons for supporting or opposing the development of a national health insurance system.

“The socialization of medicine is coming as surely as tomorrow’s dawn. It is the natural result of public demand for adequate, complete medical service.”

— Dr. J. C. Hossack, President, Winnipeg Medical Society, 1942



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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010