April 4, 1957 (22nd Parliament, 5th Session)


Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)


Mr. Martin:

As to universality, that is one of the covenants to which the province must agree and that is covered in a later section. This bill provides for the federal government's sharing in the kind of treatment provided for under the Blue Cross arrangement and under private insurance schemes, with additional supplementary benefits for those persons in general hospitals as defined under the interpretation section of the act and in accordance with the provincial licensing provisions. This bill covers people who are suffering from mental illness and it includes those suffering from tuberculosis, where their treatment is provided for them in general hospitals and where they have to pay. We are not including those in tuberculosis sanatoria or mental health institutions which are operated by the province for the simple reason that that is a responsibility accepted by the province. We are simply following the pattern that exists in the province of Saskatchewan where tubercular patients and mentally ill patients are not covered by the hospital insurance scheme which, as my hon. friend knows, is basically on premium; but they are covered under a separate account for tubercular people and mentally ill people. The same practice is observed in the province of British Columbia

and everywhere else except in one other country that we have been able to examine. But let it be clear that mentally ill people and tubercularly ill people in general hospitals, where the individual is responsible for the care, will be and are covered by this act.

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