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



Values in Conflict

But underpinning all these issues were differing visions of the way in which a health insurance system should function. Doctors, dentists and hospital administrators assumed that they would be appointed to provincial and federal commissions and that their views would prevail. Workers and farmers, however, argued that the needs of health service users had to be considered as equally important. Thus, the medical domination of the proposed administrative commissions was unacceptable, as was the ongoing demand for fee-for-service payment. But there was some common ground: all the supporters were concerned about the overall cost of the program and the emerging opposition to it from Ontario and Quebec. In response, the Special Committee encouraged the Department of Pensions and National Health to confer with the various groups and to revise the legislation. This was done through 1943 and early 1944 and resulted in further Special Committee meetings, which lasted until July 1944.

“We would respectfully urge that the Act should be entirely reconstituted to take control away from the medical profession and place its administration in the hands of the contributors.”

— Trades and Labor Congress of Canada, from the concluding statement in its 1943 brief on the third draft of the federal health insurance plan, submitted to the Advisory Committee on Health Insurance, p. 525.

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