April 8, 1957 (22nd Parliament, 5th Session)


Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

I have not spoken on this bill before but I want to rise and support the remarks of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I think he put the argument very well indeed. I do not intend to take up a great deal of time. I see that the minister shakes his head but I do not agree with him in that respect.
I might say that I have had a great deal of experience in connection with hospital affairs, in fact, being a member of a hospital board since about 1912. I remember when our patient costs per day for the hospital of whose board I was chairman were $1.75, and that we considered that amount a bit excessive. Even at that time I remember people saying there was a need for a hospital insurance plan, which this is.
I am very glad that we are adopting this plan. However, I support the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre in his remarks concerning the omission of tubercular patients and mentally ill patients, who make up a large percentage of those who are sick in this country at this time. Along with a good many people across Canada who are interested in this question, and a good many responsible organizations, I believe that when we are dealing with hospital insurance we should so approach the problem as to make arrangements to care for all the sick and to meet the needs of all the population who require these services. In fact, in my opinion this is one of the major deficiencies of the bill. I hope in the future the minister will give some consideration to the criticism which has been voiced in the house, and which has been expressed by a good many responsible people in the country.

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