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



Alternative Vision

Within the Department of Pensions and National Health, however, Mackenzie and Heagerty were concentrating on creating a made-in-Canada health insurance program that would not suffer from the problems that had plagued the British Columbia plan, which had failed so disastrously in the 1930s. Both the Minister and his health insurance studies expert believed that lack of consultation with the medical profession and the absence of widespread public support had doomed the B.C. plan. To ensure that they did not repeat this failure, Heagerty was instructed to contact the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) for assistance and to meet with the leaders of various labour, farmers’ and women’s groups. In response, the CMAset up a Committee of Seven to liaise with Heagerty and his team. Working on the premise that Canadians would want to contribute directly to the cost of their health services through paying a premium, and recognizing that the provinces had primary jurisdiction, the preliminaryhealth insurance plan that was unveiled in March 1943 consisted of draft federal and provincial statutes and a schedule of health grants. Heagerty and his team argued that this proposal was intended to help all the provinces create “a satisfactory practical measure of health insurance,” but they also made it clear that the federal government was not infringing on provincial jurisdiction, it was not calling for a constitutional amendment, and it was providing a significant grant-in-aid in order to ensure national standards.

Photo: Cover and first page of the table of contents of the Report of the Advisory Committee on Health Insurance, known as the Heagerty Report, 1943.
Photo: Cover and first page of the table of contents of the Report of the Advisory Committee on Health Insurance, known as the Heagerty Report, 1943.

Cover and first page of the table of contents of the Report of the Advisory Committee on Health Insurance, known as the Heagerty Report, 1943.
Library and Archives Canada, e008440964 (cover), e008440965 (table of contents)

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