Questioning Canadian Health Care
Organizational Policies 1967-86 1
After the welfare state programs had begun to be implemented, the federal Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare, Dr. Maurice Le Clair (a Québécois who was perhaps better attuned to the idea of collectivist care 2 than were some of his colleagues), raised questions about their impact. Were programs which provided access to medical services the best means of improving health outcomes for all Canadians? And were the programs well managed? Could their organization not be improved?
Le Clair made a number of very significant moves. On the one hand he questioned the open-ended funding which had resulted in overbuilding and poor management of hospitals, and because hospital funding had preceded medical care funding, he realized that there was some unnecessary use of these facilities. He terminated hospital construction grants and set up the Task Force on the Cost of Health Services (Canada 1970b) to inquire into possible savings. He established a national inquiry into the possible development of community health centres (Canada 1972) as an alternative form of medical care organization. He set up a long-range planning group which in its report, A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians (Canada 1974a), proposed that the boundaries of the health field be extended and the objectives of the programs be reconsidered. This new approach, which was strongly supported by the Minister of Health and Welfare, took time to be____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Health Care:A Community Concern?. Contributors: Anne Crichton - Author, Ann Robertson - Author, Christine Gordon - Author, Wendy Farrant - Author. Publisher: University of Calgary Press. Place of publication: Calgary, Alta.. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 53.
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