Medicare is arguably Canada’s most valued social program. As federally-supported medicare enters its second half-century, Medicare’s Histories brings together leading social and health historians to reflect on the origins and evolution of medicare and the missed opportunities characterizing its past and present. Embedding medicare in the diverse constituencies that have given it existence and meaning, contributors inquire into the strengths and weaknesses of publicly insured health care and critically examine medicare’s unfinished role in achieving greater health equity for all people in Canada regardless of race, status, gender, class, age, and ability.
Fundamental to the stories told in Medicare’s Histories is the essential role played by communities ¬– of activists, critics, health professionals, First Nations, patients, families, and survivors – in driving demands for health reform, in identifying particular omissions and inequities exacerbated or even created by medicare, and in responding to the realities of medicare for those who work in and rely on it. Contributors to this volume show how medicare has been shaped by politics (in the broadest sense of that word), identities, professional organizations, and social movements in Canada and abroad.
As COVID lays bare social inequities and the inadequacies of health care delivery and public health, this book shows what was excluded and what was – and is – possible in health care.
About the authors
Esyllt W. Jones lives and teaches history in Winnipeg. She is the author of the award-winning Influenza 1918: Death, Disease and Struggle in Winnipeg, and is currently working on a reinterpretation of the origins of medicare in Canada.
James Hanley is a Professor of History at the University of Winnipeg.
Delia Gavrus is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Winnipeg.
“Medicare’s Histories offers a superb and timely collection of essays on the critically important subject of Canadian medicare by some of the best scholars in the field.”