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Canadian Healthcare

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by

Audrey Cober

on 17 December 2012

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Transcript of Canadian Healthcare

Canadian healthcare (Medicare) is the system that provides insured medical assistance without copayment, to legal Canadian residents. The first provincial hospital insurance was introduced in Saskatchewan in 1947, by Premier Tommy Douglas, leader of the Saskatchewan CCF. It was then brought to national attention through Lester B. Pearson, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, who then implemented it all across the country officially in 1966. Tommy Douglas. Lester B. Pearson What Is It? Canadian Medicare Effects Human Geography Government and Politics Society and Identity Medicare brought major changes to the Canadian standards of living. Due to the increased access and ease of getting healthcare the population grew, along with many other aspects of society. People were now able to get assistance from medical practitioners, medical emergency coverage, important vaccinations, and several other necessary things, for little to no charge (requiring that the user meets all the specific requirements); something that hadn't been possible before. Medicare has a huge impact on Canadian identity. We often use our system of universal healthcare as way of separating ourselves from the rest of the world, and defining ourselves as Canadians. Some people believe that it gives us a sense of superiority over other nations, however flawed the actual system is. Not only that, but it improves our society and its conditions, because less people are medically in needed. Furthermore, there have been many polls on the opinion of medicare, and time and time again, Canadians have said that Medicare is the social welfare program they value the most. I personally believe that Medicare is hugely beneficial to us, and that we should be grateful that we have it. Websites Used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(Canada) http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/index-eng.php http://medicare.ca/ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/a-brief-history-of-canadian-medicare/article4391979/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Health_Act The healthcare system Canada has in place has had a huge influence on politics, and more broadly, government. From the time it was first put in place in Saskatchewan by Tommy Douglas, it has shaped the priorities of certain political parties. Lester B. Pearson adopted the idea from Douglas, and he used it as a method to gain the popular vote in the Federal election. This resulted in the Medical Care Act being passed in 1966. Since then, medicare has been a huge focus for the government, and they still play a huge role in its running. Because the system costs so much money, it is important for the government to budget their spending well so that other places of interest still receive a sufficient amount of funding. However, involvement by the administration has significantly increased in a period of 40 years, from providing financial assistance for the construction of hospitals to directing provincial health care policy. Also, provincial governments have expanded their position around medicare over time. Their role in health care insurance began in the mid-1900's, and it has been growing rapidly. They created a government monopoly around hospital insurance by banning private financing for medical services. In taking control of all physicians in Canada, governments have also made decisions that constricted the supply of medical professionals andtechnologies in order to keep up public health spending. The main idea is that what started as a small federal intervention in hospitals to provide better medical aid has developed into a considerable government interference in the health care decisions of Canadian citizens. Source Documents When Allan J. MacEachen introduced the Medical Care Act on July 12, 1966, he opened his argument by stating:

"The government of Canada believes that all Canadians should be able to obtain health services of high quality according to their need for such services and irrespective of their ability to pay. We believe that the only practical and effective way of doing this is through a universal, prepaid, government-sponsored scheme." NDP Member of Parliament Grace McInnis stated:

"All of us in this corner have been looking forward to getting this legislation before us because we hope, at long last, we are going to be able to turn health care from being a business for profit as it has been under private agencies, into a service for the people of Canada. (Canada, House of Commons Debates, Hansard [July 12, 1966], p. 7605)" http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/exhibitions/hist/medicare/medic-5h23e.shtml Analyses of the Documents These citations from the different members of parliament describes the significant push for universal health care. It also displays how in support of medicare the NDP's and the Liberals were. These articles are relevant to the passing of the Canadian Health Care Act because it shows what a major issue it was in the House of Commons.

The political cartoon displays the attitude of both the public and the anti-medicare lobby when Finance Minister and Acting Prime Minister Mitchell Sharp announced that medicare would have to be either abolished or put on hold due to the state of Canada’s economy. There is obvious bias in this illustration; it was drawn by someone who supports what the people wants and somewhat defies that decisions of the government. Political cartoon by George Shane, 1966. Interview For this section of the project, I will pretend to be interviewing Lester B. Pearson, the man who established universal health care in Canada.

Me: So Lester, when did you first think of implementing Tommy Douglas's system of health care across Canada?
Him: After I had seen what a success it was, I figured that it was time Canada got with the program, and followed the same route that Saskatchewan took.
Me: What made you think it would work?
Him: I didn't know it would work. But I believed that our strong government could allow it to happen... medicare is still at a very delicate stage, but I feel that it does have the potential to be great.
Me: Were you worried what the doctors would say, and how they would respond?
Him: Yes, yes I was. I know practitioners are still finding problems with it. There's always the threat of work action and protesting, but what everyone needs to remember is that it's all for the better of our society.
Me: Do you believe that our universal health care is a primary factor of Canadian identity?
Him: Hmm.. I do believe that. With this being said, we have to remain respectful, and make sure that arrogance is not a trait we develop.
Me: Well do you feel that it gives us a sense of superiority? I've spoken with many Canadians who think that we're better than Americans just because we have medicare.
Him: You could say that, but there are places where the United States has us beat. We just need to focus on our own issues, and to improve anything that has the capability of being improved.
Me: Thank you for your time, Mr. Prime Minister!
Him: Gladly, I'm always happy to answer questions about our great country.
THE END By: Audrey C.
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