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History: 1958-1968 PUBLIC OR PRIVATE? VOLUNTARY OR COMPULSORY? : HOSPITAL CARE FOR CANADIANS, 19481958 CONFLICT AND COMPROMISE: CREATING THE MEDICAL CARE AC, 1958–1968 FROM COST CONTROL TO HEALTH PROMOTION: IMPLEMENTING MEDICARE, 19681978



Mediation through Shuttle Diplomacy

The dispute was resolved through the mediation efforts of Lord Stephen Taylor, a doctor who was also a British Labour peer and one of the architects of the National Health Service. He engaged in shuttle diplomacy between the doctors and the politicians from July 16 to July 23. Under the compromise that he arranged, private plans could continue, although most citizens were expected to join the public plan; doctors could opt out of the plan, but the Saskatchewan Medical Care Insurance Act would remain in place in spite of the doctors’ demands that it be dismantled. Once the plan was fully functioning, even those doctors who had been so sure that their independence and clinical expertise would be undermined discovered that, rather than experiencing government direction in their practices, they were finally being paid for all the services that they rendered and not just those that their patients could afford. By 1964, when Ross Thatcher and the Liberals defeated the CCF/NDP, most people were so satisfied that his government opted to continue the program.

Photo: Lord Stephen Taylor arrived from the United Kingdom on  July 17, 1962 to help the Saskatchewan government and the doctors  resolve their labour dispute.

Lord Stephen Taylor arrived from the United Kingdom on July 17, 1962 to help the Saskatchewan government and the doctors resolve their labour dispute.
University of Saskatchewan Archives, Thompson papers: Advisory Planning Committee on Medical Care – MG17S1, H. newspaper clippings, July 17, 1962



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