Children, Politics, and Medicare: Experiences in a Canadian Province

Children, Politics, and Medicare: Experiences in a Canadian Province

Children, Politics, and Medicare: Experiences in a Canadian Province

Children, Politics, and Medicare: Experiences in a Canadian Province

Excerpt

This book describes the influence of national health insurance upon the development of population-based programs for children in British Columbia, the third largest province in Canada. Both authors have spent their working professional lives in British Columbia and have witnessed the development of health services before and after the introduction of health insurance. One of the authors, George R.F. Elliot, joined the provincial Department of Health and Welfare in 1946, when the annual health budget was $5 million. Today it is $5.4 billion.

During the course of countless interviews in the preparation of the book, we were impressed by two circumstances. First, even senior administrators knew little about the evolution of the program they were managing, let alone the larger organization of which they were an important part. Perhaps of more importance was the interest these individuals showed in learning about the earlier history of their departments. Second, we were struck by the very real difficulty of obtaining comparable information from other Canadian provinces and other countries with similar systems of health care organization.

The book is dedicated to Dr. Jack McCreary, first professor and head of the Department of Paediatrics in the Medical Faculty at the University of British Columbia. He left a secure practice in the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to start his new career in Vancouver. A special tribute to him follows.

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