If the hon. gentleman keeps repeating things for his own political interests I cannot help that, but I shall be glad to take note of what he said if he wishes to help prosecute health insurance studies.
I think this item calls for a word of explanation. The expenditure last year was very much below the estimate. Is this because the department did not fill the positions that were contemplated when the. estimates were being prepared?
As I told my hon. friend the other night, this is a new department, and there was no previous experience by which to judge needs. Obviously there have been overestimates as well as underestimates. This was an overestimate.
The division will advise the provinces in respect to planning and building various types of hospitals, producing particular solutions when necessary. It will prepare schematic plans for various hospital sizes and types and collect and tabulate and make available to the provinces the latest information on hospital construction. The division will also continue to make preliminary drawings for Indian hospitals and to act in liaison with other architects towards the completion of such efforts. Contact is maintained with provincial health departments and various hospital associations, and meetings are attended for the purpose of offering and receiving suggestions and ascertaining the latest developments in the field. No fewer than five provinces have expressed commendation for the assistance which the architect of this division has rendered both to provincial and to municipal hospitals.
What is the nature of the temporary assistance required when there is only one permanent employee, a grade 3 stenographer? * Yet $15,000 is being asked for temporary assistance. We have also professional and special services, $2,000, below that.
stenographer who is permanent, and who was transferred from another department. The
Supply-Health and Weljare
temporaries are made up of a consulting architect, a junior architect, an architectural draughtsman, stenographers grade 3 and grade 2; a clerk grade 2; a medical officer who serves part time, and a typist grade 2.
The estimate for 1947d8 is down as compared with 1946-47. What is the explanation of the decrease, and what responsibility is there on the dominion to go into this field? Is the department forced into the field, or is this part of an over-all plan which is contemplated by the government? I take it the matter of health should come under the jurisdiction of the provinces.
My hon. friend is quite right. Health is a matter for the province, but as I explained the other night, under section 5, subsection (i) of the National Health and Welfare Act, the department, on the invitation of the provincial governments, acts as a cooperating and coordinating body. The request for this division came from nine provinces at one of the meetings of the dominion council of health, which meets twice a year.
As I told the member for Eglinton, the original estimate was a guess. It was a new division, and they estimated beyond what they have found since to be the requirements. The sum of $2,000 is required for consultation services and special reports. The decrease is due to more accurate knowledge of costs of operating the division after functioning for eight months.
I should like to refer for a moment to a matter I mentioned a few nights ago in a speech I made then. In the United States, as I think the minister is aware, they have already appropriated in congress a large sum of money for an over-all plan, in the future with respect to health insurance. Have we any such plan as that under way?