It is the cold season, and you’re coughing very excessively. You have an important test coming up on Monday, and nothing seems to be working for you. You’ve drunk many glasses of orange juice; you’ve eaten many Halls; you’ve taken lemon and honey. So you to go to the clinic, and the doctor prescribed some medicine to take care of a cough. You pay for the medicine, and you leave. That’s all.
A monetary transaction from your wages between you and the doctor does not happen. And you have Tommy Douglas to thank for this. Tommy Douglas is the greatest Canadian of all time, because of his many contributions to the great Canadian way of life, like introduction of pensions for the elderly, introduction of universally free healthcare, created crown controlled corporations to provide cheaper and easily available electricity for people, created government controlled insurance houses which provided extremely cheap insurance with low premiums, he revolutionized the lives of workers by mandating important work rules and implementing the Trade Unions Act, and because of the political shifts he made in the ways of running a government. Firstly, let’s discuss the introduction of Healthcare. When Douglas was a young Minister, during the Depression, he saw a lot of death from diseases and sicknesses, that could easily have been prevented if the people affected had enough money to afford healthcare. He himself had to bury two people that were close to him and the church he was employed to. He saw what the clutches of poverty did to people who were gravely sick.
Even before his universal healthcare topic, he and his government had already begun providing “full funding of mental illnesses, STD’s and cancer(dufourlaw.com). Years after on November 19, 1961, Saskatchewan Medical Insurance Act, was made a part of the legislation a couple weeks after Tommy Douglas had left the leadership of the party.
Mind you, the idea all stemmed majorly from him, and the new CCF premier only signed it into effect. This replaced private insurances, and individuals had to pay $12 per year on premiums, and families $24. With this, everybody in the province paid for the healthcare of each other, and they were “reassured that a terrible illness in the family wouldn’t lead to bankruptcy”(tommydouglas.ca). John Diefenbaker, the Prime Minister at the time, already expressed interest in this, and his successor, Lester B Pearson would later pass the law, to enable universal healthcare all over Canada,”under all NDP members under NDP leader Tommy Douglas”(dufourlaw.com), in 1966.
Tommy Douglas played very crucial roles in all of these events, and Canadians have him to thank for this.