Monday, October 3, 2011

Saskatchewan Doctor's Strike settled - Time magazine 1962

Canada: Condition: Fair

Friday, Aug. 03, 1962

After it was over, Britain's Lord Taylor, a bluff Labor Party peer and an architect of the British National Health Service, last week gave Saskatchewan a doctor's order. "This province has had a major operation," said he. "I prescribe for it absolute rest." The major operation was the settlement of the bitter, 22-day strike of Saskatchewan's doctors, who closed their offices rather than practice under the Socialist government's new compulsory medical insurance scheme.

Largely mediated by Lord Taylor, the settlement let each side claim moral victory. The government won the doctors' agreement to North America's first comprehensive, tax-supported state medical insurance plan. But by their stubborn fight, the doctors won modifications in the plan removing what they had feared as political controls over the practice of medicine. In the key concessions, Saskatchewan's Premier Woodrow Lloyd made clear that the doctors could practice inside or outside the scheme, agreed to let the province's two major doctor-operated voluntary insurance plans continue in business, and expanded the doctors' representation on the medicare plan's governing commission.

The weary Taylor hailed the agreement as a model for what he hopes will come to the rest of Canada and the U.S.—and, following his own prescription for a rest, headed off to fish in the seclusion of northern Saskatchewan.

No comments:

Post a Comment