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At the beginning of the 20th century healthcare was a necessity in Canada, but it was not easy to afford. When Medicare was introduced, Canadians were thrilled to know that their tax dollars were going to benefit them in the future. The introduction of Medicare made it easier for Canadians to afford healthcare. Medicare helped define Canada as an equal country, with equal rights, services and respect for every Canadian citizen. Medicare helped less wealthy Canadians afford proper healthcare. Canadian citizens who had suffered from illness because they could not afford healthcare, were able to get proper treatment. The hospitals of Canada were no longer compared by their patients’ wealth, but by their amount of service and commitment. Many doctors tried to stop the Medicare act, but the government and citizens outvoted them and the act was passed. The doctors were then forced to treat patients in order of illness and not by the amount of money they had. Medicare’s powerful impact on Canadian society was recognized globally and put into effect in other nations all around the world. Equality then became a definition which every Canadian citizen understood.
After the Second World War, illness was amongst many Canadians, and many of them did not have any chances of recovering because they could not afford healthcare. Medicare made it possible for those who did not have much money, to receive treatment for their illnesses. Tuberculosis was the most crucial disease which was spreading after the war. This bacterial infection was sometimes called the “white plague” and many Canadians were haunted by it. Residents of Saskatchewan formed together the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis Commission to try and stop the spread of it, and make plans for controlling it in the future. When Tommy Douglas, a Baptist Minister who turned into a politician, was elected to the leadership of the recently formed national Democratic Party of Saskatchewan, many other governments had began to see the brilliance in his ideas and they began to embrace them. He began to uncover many different health plans which had boundaries to the amount of healthcare patients were going to receive. “Most of these plans, in order to stay solvent have to eliminate great many groups of people. Because of age, because of chronic conditions, because of genital illness, past medical history and so on. And these precisely are the people who need some kind of protection.
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Before Medicare was introduced, hospitals were very strict with patient’s which they had treated. They did not serve according to the seriousness of the patient’s accident or illness, but by the amount of money the patients had. Different provinces had different reactions to the Act. Many doctors disagreed and did not want the Act to be passed. They stated that “the Act would give the government a monopoly on the purchase of medical care which would intern interfere with their freedom to give the best possible service to their patients.” (Anderson).The provinces met for meetings to make compromises, but they all ended in failure. Saskatchewan was the first province to introduce Medicare. On July 1st of 1962, Saskatchewan’s Medical Act came into effect.. On the night of July 1st doctors from Saskatchewan, and some from provinces all around Canada, came to protest against free healthcare. All doctors who could not afford to treat for free supported the strike$. The strike did not have a great turn out, as only 4000 protestors rallied against Medicare. The publicity which the doctors had got was slowly as citizens began to realize what Medicare meant for them. Their strike ended on July 23 when the cabinet and the College of Physicians and Surgeons signed a memorandum, known as the Saskatoon Agreement. The act was revised in the areas where the doctors sensed a threat to them. The doctors were then forced to carry on with their jobs, and to treat every patient with proper service and respect. Medicare introduction meant that hospitals and doctors no longer had ways to categorize their parents, other than by their health problems.
Medicare was first introduced in Saskatchewan, and many people seemed to be against it. The more Medicare unravelled, the more people began to realize the importance and significance of it. Soon enough all of Canada was running under Canada’s universal health system, Medicare. The world had begun to realize that Medicare was an important factor of Canada, and that it helped everyone, in social, economical and political standards. The United States quickly followed in Canada’s footsteps, and introduced their own type of health insurance, called Medicaid. North America began to be recognized as a more equal continent. Canada’s accomplishment was recognized throughout the world, and Medicare was a long path towards equal rights and services for all Canadians.
Medicare was and still is one of Canada’s most powerful accomplishments. It helped Canada become what it is today, an equal country. Citizens of Canada are no longer judged because they are not wealthy; they do not receive the least amount of service because they do not have a certain amount of money to pay for healthcare, they do not wait in line for hours to get a check up because they do not have money to pay for an experienced doctor, and they finally are able to say that Canada is proud to have started the Medicare act, and that our country is an equal country. Medicare brought equality into our health system; it defined Canada as an equal country, with equal rights, services, and respect for every Canadian citizen.
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