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



External Influences

In August 1941, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced the Atlantic Charter, a document that called for the creation of a better post-war world — one that was free from hunger, disease, unemployment and war. The Canadian government signed this document on January 1, 1942, and on February 5 that year Mackenzie received Cabinet approval to create an Advisory Committee on Health Insurance. Headed by Heagerty, this group was expected to develop a plan for a national system of health insurance that would respond to growing public demand for a federal plan that would protect citizens from the high costs of illness and disease and ensure access to medical and nursing services when needed. Finally, the Director of Public Health Services would have an opportunity to use his many years of study as the foundation for legislation.

Photo: Dr. J. J. Heagerty in 1938

Dr. J. J. Heagerty in 1938, just before he began working with the Minister of Pensions and National Health, Ian Mackenzie, to create a national health insurance plan.
Library and Archives Canada, C-046200

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