Debates and Proceedings (Hansard)March 27, 1995
The Assembly met at 1:30 p.m.
First Medical Health Care Plan in Saskatchewan
Mrs. Bergman: - Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, with all the discussion generated around health care reform these days, I'd like to remind the Assembly today of one of the originators of medicare. If Tommy Douglas is called the father of medicare, then Matt Anderson of Bulyea, reeve of the RM of McKillop No. 220, must have been its grandfather.
Matt Anderson, a Liberal, was dedicated to equality in health care. Mr. Anderson worked with the provincial Liberal Health minister, Dr. Uhrich, to get the Patterson Liberal government to pass legislation in 1938, allowing municipalities to set up their own health insurance plans. Premier Patterson felt the province could not afford a provincial medicare plan in the 1930s, so they passed legislation enabling RMs (rural municipality) to set up their own.
As reeve, Mr. Anderson introduced the first municipal health care plan in 1938. His plan provided unlimited access to a municipal doctor, 21 days annual hospital care, as well as prescription drugs. His plan, which became a model for Saskatchewan, charged members of the municipality a $5 per capita or $20 per family annual fee.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Anderson's health care plan was the very first health care insurance plan in the province. A second plan was started in the RM of Longlaketon. The idea of health care insurance plan then spread rapidly throughout the province. These plans worked very successfully until the present provincial plan came into effect.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
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