Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
Geography: 1978-1988 Geography: 1968-1978 Geography: 1978-1988 Geography: 1989–2007

Medical Reform Group

Founded in 1979, the Ontario-based Medical Reform Group (MRG) consists primarily of physicians and medical students who support the proposition that “the universal access of every person to high quality, appropriate health care must be guaranteed. The health care system must be administered in a manner which precludes any monetary or other deterrent to equal care”. Stressing the determinants of health, the members of the MRG presented a brief to Mr. Justice Emmett Hall in April 1980. In 1983, they lobbied against the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and its support for rotating strikes for higher wages. The MRG also forged links with the Canadian Health Coalition and the Ontario Health Coalition, and it participated in the lively debate over the Canada Health Act by opposing the user fees that the OMA and the Ontario Association of Independent Physicians supported. The MRG’s most important contribution, however, was its rebuttal of the arguments used to justify the Ontario doctors’ strike in 1986. Newspaper, radio and television reports on the conflict and strike over the Health Care Accessibility Act consistently used the MRG position, which favoured the protection of medicare, to counter OMA arguments, such as the assertion that extra-billing was an effective way to control costs. This demonstrated to the government and the public that some doctors strongly supported medicare’s fundamental principles.

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