Tommy Douglas’ view on healthcare and politics revolutionised Canada. He introduced free health care to the citizens of Saskatchewan and influenced the rest of Canada to follow in their footsteps. He also introduced pensions to the elderly people residing in Saskatchewan and unemployment insurance to ensure people are content. Douglas was a Canadian social-democratic politician and brought new ideas to the people of Canada, especially after The Great Depression and World War 2. His government was the first social-democratic government in North America. Although some people believe he was just another rich politician but he was much more than that. He cared about the citizens and their health. He wanted people to prosper and excel in life, this is what made Tommy Douglas the best Canadian in history.
Tommy Douglas’ vision for universal health care started when he got a bone infection in his leg. He came from a poor family who could not afford healthcare, so they were going to amputate his leg. Thankfully, a surgeon offered to treat him for free if learning surgeons could watch the process. After he recovered, his sights were set. He wanted everyone to have universally accessible health care.
Tommy was a Baptist minister but he knew he could do more for the healthcare system in politics. In 1931, Douglas decided to establish a local association of the independent labour party and two years later, he attended the first national of the new Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. In 1935, Douglas ran for parliament and was successful. During his first term, he introduced medical insurance reform and gradually moved the province towards universal medicare near the end of his first term. The doctors of Saskatchewan did not like the change The doctors of Saskatchewan formed a strike because they believed their best interests were not being considered, and also feared a loss of income. Douglas agreed his government would pay the going rate for service that doctors charged. Even though Douglas stated he would pay the doctors, they still feared Douglas would bring in foreign doctors to make his plans work. After the doctors realized he was only trying to better the province and not sabotage them, things turned around.
The federal government noticed the success of the healthcare system and newly elected Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, stated that any province seeking to introduce healthcare would receive 50 cents on the dollar from the Saskatchewan government. Tommy Douglas made this chain reaction happen and this is why he is known as the “father of medicare”. Tommy Douglas’ view on politics changed the Saskatchewan government for the better and also brought new ideas too.
The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was led by Tommy Douglas, and it was North America’s first socialist government. “During the Great Depression, neither Mackenzie king nor R.B Bennett were willing to do anything. They believed the economic crisis required no drastic measures to be fixed.
” (Tommy Douglas: “Greatest Canadian”). Since the Canadian government was not trying to fix the crisis, others had to take action. The CCF was founded in 1932 by farmers, academics, and Ottawa MPs associated with farmer and trade-union organization.