Friday, April 29, 2011

The Guru and the Godfather: Henry Sigerist, Hugh MacLean, and the Politics of Health Care Reform in 1940s Canada

Hannah Professor of the History of Medicine, Queen's University,
CBMHIBCHM I Volume 9: 1992

Dr. Hugh MacLean
In September 1944, Henry E. Sigerist (1891-1957), historian of medicine from Johns Hopkins University, conducted a survey of health services in Saskatchewan for Premier T. C. Douglas and his newly elected CCF government. His brief report became the basis for legislation that enacted Canada's first free hospitalization plan. The recommendations seem to have been prompted by Dr. Hugh MacLean (1871-1958), a relatively unknown surgeon who practised in Saskatchewan for over 30 years. MacLean had observed how the economic Depression resulted in inadequate medical care and he became an ardent supporter of "socialized medicine."

Based on interviews with those who witnessed the events and on the personal papers of Sigerist and MacLean, this article explores the contributions of these two physicians to the Canadian health care system.

Read article HERE (pdf).

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