The History of the Canadian Health Care System

health care history in canada

The implementation of Universal Health Care (UHC) has been a defining aspect in Canadian history; for those who are not aware, UHC provides all citizens of a country access to healthcare, as opposed to offering health services exclusively to those who can afford them. UHC also ensures that the quality of the services being provided help improve the health of patients, without imposing financial burdens on individuals.

Here is a historic timeline of the most memorable moments in the history of the Canadian Health Care System!

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1922 – We’ve Discovered Insulin!

Sir Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best both discovered Insulin, which was a huge break through that aided in the treatment of diabetes; the life expectancy of people with diabetes increased significantly with the discovery of Insulin.

1931 – Pablum: A Nutritious Supplement for Children

Pablum is term that was used to define a type of children’s cereal; it contained in several minerals and vitamins that were essential to the physical/mental development of a child. Alan Brown, Frederick Tisdall, and Theodore Drake, all who worked at the Hospital for Sick Children, formulated Pablum.

1966 – The Medical Care Act

Tommy Douglas – the premier of Saskatchewan – wanted the implement the UHC system in Canada; prior to this, several Canadians remained without access to basic health care, which severely hindered their medical condition. However, in 1966 the government introduced “The Medical Care Act” which provided Canadians with UCH, following the province of Saskatchewan that adopted UCH in 1962.

1969 – Birth Control Pills

In 1960, the birth control pill was approved by the FDA, after being developed by Dr. Gregory and Margaret Sanger. It became a preventative pill that was available to all women across the country in 1969.

1988 – Abortion Law in Canada Ruled as Being Unconstitutional

Dr. Henry Morgentaler dedicated almost 20 years trying to rule out the abortion law, which only allowed women to have an abortion if the Abortion Committee dictated that the pregnancy put a woman’s life/health in danger. In 1988, the Supreme Court ruled that this law violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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