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Ontario Hospital Services Commission

Created by Premier Leslie Frost’s government, in response to the need for improved hospital care in Ontario, the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan grew out of the 1956 Hospital Services Commission of Ontario Act. The Ontario Hospital Services Commission took the necessary steps of studying the problems of creating hospital insurance for Ontario, consulting with professional bodies such as the Canadian Medical Association and then making recommendations to the provincial government based on its findings.

Photo: Public servants celebrate the enrolment of 5,298,422 Ontario citizens in the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan

Public servants celebrate the enrolment of 5,298,422 Ontario citizens in the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan, which was going into effect on January 1, 1959.
Archives of Ontario, RG 10-65, 1982-08291/20

After much tailoring to satisfy the interests of all groups, the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan was implemented by provincial law on January 1, 1959. It was a public hospitalization insurance plan funded through compulsory premiums and provincial and federal contributions. When it started, it provided 91 per cent of Ontarians with coverage that included hospital care for treatment of physical illness, mental illnesses and tuberculosis at monthly premiums of $1.20 per individual and $4.20 per family. However, the plan did not provide out-patient diagnostic services or treatment, due to opposition from the medical profession. Ultimately, the plan proved to be highly successful, with 94 per cent of the population enrolled by 1960.

Photo: Gold-plated presentation copy of his Ontario Hospital Insurance Certificate No. 1
Photo: Gold-plated presentation copy of his Ontario Hospital Insurance Certificate No. 1

Leslie Frost, premier of Ontario, received this gold-plated presentation copy of his Ontario Hospital Insurance Certificate No. 1 on January 1, 1959, when the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan went into effect.
Archives of Ontario, RG 10-65, 1982-08291/21

Transcription:
On back: Presented to Prime Minister the Honourable Leslie M. Frost. Q.C., LL.D., D.C.L. on the occasion of the inauguration of the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan, in recognition of his leadership and direction in making this outstanding welfare programme available to the residents of Ontario.

Photo: In the 1950s, people stayed in the hospital longer than they do now

In the 1950s, people stayed in the hospital longer than they do now. For example, newborn babies stayed in the hospital an average of 6.5 days.
From the Report of the Ontario Hospital Services Commission, June 1956 to December 31, 1959

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