May 27, 1938

LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I have heard this same proposal made by others, including one association of returned men, who said they thought that by this time we should give up our departmental hospitals and place all soldier patients in civilian hospitals. But I do not believe the cost would be much if any less

Supply-National Health

than under the present system. I put the suggestion to other returned soldier associations; I discussed it informally with the members of an association at a convention, and I was told it would not be popular with the soldiers to place ex-soldier patients in civilian hospitals. In the hospitals under the department they have the comradeship of their own friends; they have returned soldier doctors, nurses and orderlies; they are treated as a class by themselves. I do not believe it would please the ex-soldiers if I were to adopt the suggestion of my hon. friend, although I admit it was strongly pressed upon me by a returned soldiers' organization, so he is by no means alone in his view.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

Is it not true that practically all those now in the hospitals are there solely for the purpose of actual remedial treatment,

as determined by departmental medical authorities, pursuant to P.C. 91?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Not quite all. Not half.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

Is there any substantial number in the hospitals merely because they require domiciliary care?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The number is 378, to be exact, and my hon. friend must remember that we have a number of mental cases.

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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

How many veterans, both in-patients and out-patients, received treatment in these departmental hospitals during the last fiscal year?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The number runs from 2,300 to 2,500 every day in the year. I do not think it went over 2,500. It goes up in the winter and down in the summer.

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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

The figures given in the report of the department, page 27, show 2,212 in-patients and eight out-patients, or a total of 2,220, as at March 31, 1937. Was there a smaller or a larger number on March 31, 1938?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I think there is a difference of about 100. In 1937 there were 2,220; in 1938, 2,105. These consist of the three major classifications: general treatment, tubercular, and mental. I have not the total here; we have to add those in other hospitals, provincial mental hospitals. In British Columbia I believe there are about ninety-eight; they would not be included in this figure. And there are some in Saskatchewan.

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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

In view of the fact that the numbers are decreasing, yet we still have the hospitals and the staffs, would it not be 51952-211

possible to extend hospital treatment to men who are not pensioners, although they have gunshot wounds, and also to recipients of the war veterans' allowance?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

A large number of these are being taken care of now.

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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

But some provision could be made for them.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I do not want to make any regulations which would restrict any chance I may have of doing this. I prefer to carry on as we have been doing and allow as many as possible in under the present regulations. I think we are doing that fairly successfully.

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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Has the minister the figures for the last few years showing the number of admissions and cost of care of patients and of hospital allowances?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

It is in the annual report every year, but not yet available for this year.

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LIB
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

They are lower than the average for civilian institutions. It does not cost us any more to look after our own patients than it would to put them in civilian hospitals.

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LIB

James Joseph McCann

Liberal

Mr. McCANN:

Is it not a fact that there are many in these hospitals who are not under treatment but who are there more for the purpose of having a home?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Yes; 378 of them.

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Item agreed to. Miscellaneous grants-Grant to the Association des Medecins de Langue Francaise de L'Amerique du Nord, $5,000.


May 27, 1938