Former Saskatchewan Premier and Healthcare Commission Chair, Roy Romanow celebrates Canada Day with a column in the Globe & Mail on perhaps our most cherished Canadian institution.
Compared to what’s happening in the US right now where the Supreme Court had to rule on President Obama’s healthcare plan just last week to try to extend even basic coverage to the millions of Americans who have no healthcare access, I am really happy to live in a country where our values include treating healthcare as a fundamental right. It’s only been 50 years which is hard to believe but I’m glad that battle was fought (and won) long ago.
It is no surprise to me that Saskatchewan was at the forefront of this journey. The province’s citizens learned many hard lessons during the desperation of the Great Depression and the sacrifices of the Second World War. They learned about generosity, about hardship and fairness, about boom and bust. They learned about the imperative for co-operative action. They came to understand that the notion of shared destiny was key to our existence.
Now the battle shifts to trying to maintain and improve our healthcare system in the face of numerous threats – political, economic, corporate – that work to undermine it.
Happy Canada Day!