A Canadian legacy

A Canadian legacy

Posted on July 30 by admin
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It seems like a lifetime away – certainly the conditions in which this story took place are far removed from present-day Canada, where access to life-saving health services is available to all. When I first met Paulina, more than twenty years ago in Bombay, she was a spirited twenty-something, engaged and, no doubt, looking forward to more than the dozen odd years she eventually had – due to renal failure and the lack of access to timely, affordable, medical care.

The true measure of a nation’s greatness lies in its care of it citizens, and Canada, following the inspired leadership of Tommy Douglas, was a trendsetter in this regard. Douglas, believed by a great many to be the greatest Canadian of all time, laid the foundation of one of this country’s most meaningful treasures: universal healthcare.

In the 17 years he served as premier of Saskatchewan, Thomas Clement Douglas changed the face of his province – the slogan “humanity first” indicative of the emphasis his government would put on improvement of social services. Douglas made history again in 1961 as the founding leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, serving as its leader for 10 years. Today he is recognized as the “father of medicare” – a program many of us couldn’t live without.