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Tommy Douglas Essay

1545 words - 7 pages

Many say that the best things in life are free, like family and love. But without health, nothing in this world matters. Thomas Clement "Tommy" Douglas, known as "the Father of Medical Healthcare", was one of Canada's most captivating politicians who was not elected as Prime Minister. (Canadian Health Coalition: Tommy Douglas). He was born in Falkirk, Scotland, and moved to Winnipeg when he was 15 years old. (The Canadian Encyclopedia). He never gave up on his dreams and persevered until his voice was heard. (The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan). Many described Tommy Douglas as a small man with a huge personality. His impressive interaction skills, lightheartedness and support from millions ...view middle of the document...

And I think it was out of this experience, not at the moment consciously, but through the years, I came to believe that health services should not have a price on them.” (The Making of a Socialist: Recollections of T. C. Douglas, 7). So, as premier of Saskatchewan in 1944, Douglas passed a bill to provide pensioners with free medical, hospital, and dental services. Pensioners were also given free treatment of diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, and several mental illnesses. (The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.) The program was so successful, that a new medical legislation was passed. In 1947, universal hospitalization for every citizen in Saskatchewan was established, and citizens had to pay $5.00 a year (roughly $60.00 today). This provided more money to Saskatchewan residents to spend on other things that included a tax percentage. Over the decades, the government of Saskatchewan gained enough wealth to introduce another medical legislation in 1962 called the “Saskatchewan Hospitalization Act”. This program gave Saskatchewan residents free healthcare. This act was adopted into federal parliament in 1966, and this was when Canada became medically ahead of countries like Britain, Germany, United States, and many more. (Canadian Institute of Health Information). Douglas introducing universal hospitalization to Canada was significant because many powerful countries at the time could not provide for their citizens with free healthcare when Canada could. Douglas was often heard saying, “My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.” (Brainyquote.com). Early last year, President Obama implemented the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, which was greatly compared to Canada’s medical policies. “Obama-care”, is not close to Canada’s “Universal Hospitalization Act” because it is not universal, different in every state, and you can still pay your way to the front of the line. (The Globe and Mail.) Even today, Canada’s medical policies are much more refined than the world’s strongest countries. Tommy Douglas was the first to introduce universal hospitalization to North America and because of him; Canada became a medically advanced nation.
Tommy Douglas was considered the best Canadian because he introduced several labor legislation laws that improved the work life of the average Canadian. Douglas established a Labor Relations board, set labor legislation laws, all under the “Trade Union Act”. (Douglas-Coldwell Foundation). The labor relations board allowed laborers and civil servants to be able to communicate their issues with their employers in a professional way. (The Canadian Encyclopedia). Douglas also set standards for workers’ compensation, established minimum wage, and mandatory holidays. In the 20s and 30s, Canada was not economically stable. Douglas and his political party strived into getting Canadians back on their feet. (History of Canadian Medicare)....

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