Tommy Douglas Role In Achieving Canada's Universal Healthcare System

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The public has always been in favour of creating an insured medical system, but the first notable efforts made by Canadian citizens were in British Columbia when the soldiers returned from World War I. Many soldiers who were wounded and treated abroad wondered why Canada did not have a system like the ones in the countries that they had battled in, as the care that they received abroad was much better than any care that they had ever received in Canada.1 That is when the pressure was on the government for a reform, but the government did not see this as a priority and continued to push it off. In the meantime, groups of workers, like the Glace Bay miners in Nova Scotia and farmers in Alberta would help each other to insure themselves. There …show more content…

Tommy Douglas is known as the father of medicare in Canada as he played a huge role in creating Canada’s Universal Healthcare system. He made what he believed in a reality and forever changed Canada as a nation. Douglas had always believed in universal health care and his belief only became stronger after a traumatizing experience as a patient. Douglas suffered from contracrede osteomyelitis in his leg as a child that forced him to be in and out of the hospital for three years, but his father was an iron molder and could pay for proper medical care. Later on in life, when he was in Canada, the pain came back so his mother took him to an outdoor clinic. If it were not for a brilliant, teaching orthopedic surgeon, Smith, that took interest in his case and decided to provide surgery for Douglas in exchange for allowing his students to watch, Douglas would have lost his leg or even his life.4 Later on in life, Tommy Douglas had witnessed several people who suffered first hand because they could not afford medical care on top of their basic needs for survival. Especially during the Great Depression, farmers could not afford medical care due to crop failure from the terrible years of drought in Saskatchewan.5 These experiences helped Douglas to understand that healthcare is a basic human right that not only the rich, but everyone should have access to. Douglas decided that he wanted to make a difference and the best way to do so would be to get involved in politics, since other politicians did not see medicare as a priority. Douglas joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1934 and led the CCF to govern Saskatchewan starting in 1944. Douglas first aided in creating the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act. Several

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