Saturday, October 30, 2010

The First Ten Years: Saskatchewan's Community Clinics

By Dennis Gruending

Two black telephones sitting in a bare room of the third floor of Saskatoon's old A venue Building was hardly an auspicious beginning for two doctors and a small group ofcitizens to pioneer the community clinic on that warm, gusty morning of July 3, 1962, armed with only their medical bags, doctors Joan Witney-Moore and Margaret Mahood settled into''a new venture in health care" . Executive members of the fledgling Community Health Services Association (CHSA) went scavenging for equipment. They found folding tables at the Union Centre and hauled them back. Covered with mattresses, they became examining tables.  The doctors were busy until midnight. 

Events in 1962 precipitating the opening of community clinics had . provoked deep and emotional rifts in Saskatchewan, grabbed head¬lines and filled newspaper columns throughout North America.

The Strike
On July 1, 1962 a majority of Saskatchewan's 725 practising physicians went on strike opposing the CCF government's introduction ofthe first universal, tax-financed, medical care insurance plan in North America.

Saskatchewan Premier T. C. Douglas, speaking in a 1959 provincial by-election, announced his government's intention to introduce the plan, fulfilling a promise made before the CCF rise to power in 1944. "The Premier had fired the first volley."

Read this book HERE. (large PDF, will take a few minutes to download).                                                                                                                                                                             

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