Lewis Mackenzie BRAND
BRAND, Lewis Mackenzie, B.A., M.D.
- Progressive Conservative
- Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)
- Birth Date
- November 21, 1925
- Deceased Date
- February 15, 1994
- physician, surgeon
- November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
- PCSaskatoon (Saskatchewan)
Most Recent Speeches (Page 49 of 54)
March 8, 1966
Mr. Chairman, perhaps I may be allowed to make a few brief remarks in
March 8. 1966
Supply-Health and Welfare response to the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam. I thank him for having made those observations. I seem to have touched a nerve somewhere. I do not wish to take away any credit from the hon. member or from the government he had the honour to lead when he brought about many useful and progressive measures in the province of Saskatchewan, measures which are working very well at the moment. But I do not wish him to take credit for those he did not bring in and I noted that he mentioned the cancer program. This was started by one of the members of the Hall Commission, Dr. D. M. Baltzan, of Saskatoon, during the Conservative administration. It was first started as a pilot plan and it was made free by the Liberals, admittedly as an election bribe in-
March 8, 1966
May I ask-
March 8, 1966
Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak on these estimates with great reluctance. I intend to make more extensive remarks during our consideration of the new estimates, at which time I will deal with medical research, medical education and the like. However, after listening to the comments last evening of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre I cannot allow some of his remarks to go unchallenged despite my very serious desire to see these estimates approved as quickly as possible. So far as the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway is concerned, I compliment her on her address but I must say that I may succumb to her charm but never to her blandishments.
It is my understanding that the bill on medicare to be proposed by the Minister of National Health and Welfare will be enabling legislation making moneys available to plans on a shared cost basis with the provinces. As such the government will be providing the means for some kind of medicare program for these provinces. Surely it is within the jurisdiction of the provinces to decide the type of program that each will or will not undertake.
I know that the present government has proposed four conditions surrounding the grants formula: Universal coverage, comprehensive care, government operation and portability from province to province. Surely it is equally obvious in view of the positions that several provinces are now taking that the formula will have to be amended. I refer
March 8. 1966
Supply-Health and Welfare specifically to the most recent member of the medicare club, Ontario.
[DOT] (4:20 p.m.)
Does the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre suggest because the Ontario plan does not meet the first provision laid down by the federal government that Ontario should not qualify for any federal aid? Is that what he is suggesting? Does he feel that because there are still some provinces which look realistically at what such programs cost and decide on programs within their means, they should be penalized for careful budgeting? The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre also takes the hon. member for Simcoe East to task for mentioning how slow the Liberal party has been in implementing a plan for health care. Has the hon. member forgotten that in Saskatchewan in 1944 the C.C.F. party rode to power on a program of universal medicare that did not come into being until 1962 and then only after the party to which he belongs mounted an attack on an honoured profession with such intensity and force that the wounds opened then have still not completely healed?
When I hear such things as how terrible the means test is, I wonder how sincere these comments are. It takes me back to the nightmare years of 1960, 1961 and 1962. What a smokescreen. Whenever someone such as the hon. member for Simcoe East suggests that there are areas of need in medical care such as more doctors, more medical schools, funds for the chronically ill and mentally ill, up go the smokescreens and we are treated to a heartrending story of how evil and debasing is the means test. Every time they speak they attempt to show that the socialists are the only ones in favour of all that is good. If anyone else attempts to raise any objections, however sincere they may be, they are treated to this display of socialistic virtue.
But, Mr. Chairman, let us look at the record very briefly. When the party these hon. members represent was in power in Saskatchewan, did they abolish the means test? If you were an old age pensioner who needed supplementary allowances, did you get them without a rigid and degrading examination of your finances? If you were a widow on mother's allowance and needed more milk for your children, did you get it without this rigid and degrading means test? As a matter of fact, I recall cases-I can give hon. members the details at any time-when mothers did not even get the milk and a
widow would have to go to the social aid department of the city to get money in order to buy milk for her children.
March 8, 1966
In Saskatchewan. Where else? Here is another point. Could you get a university scholarship or loan from the government of Saskatchewan without a means test? Ask anyone who has tried. Ask me. I did not object to it and I was grateful for what they did. It is this duplicity, Mr. Chairman, that has prompted me to rise in reply today.
I could go on to discuss hospital beds. We have heard laudatory comments concerning the hospitalization plan and features of it that have been a boon to doctors and patients alike. This I do not deny; we have had these things. But what have we on the distaff side? I listened very carefully to the speeches made in this connection and examined Hansard again last night to see whether there was anything more on this subject but there was nothing.
Consider my province of Saskatchewan. There we have a real paradox. Our patient-bed ratio is among the best in the world and yet we are faced with long hospital waiting lists. Even cancer patients have to wait months for a bed and some heart attack and fracture cases have been turned away because there are no beds for them. Imagine the situation at the University Hospital where for months complete wards are closed because of the critical shortage of nursing and other personnel. These situations have all existed; they are a matter of public record. Hospitals are faced with ever-increasing costs of operation but still there are not enough funds to provide some of the modern equipment that is considered to be so essential in running a hospital today. These are facts, Mr. Chairman, not fantasy but grim facts.
I hope that the Minister of National Health and Welfare will not turn out to be another of those who fail to see the situation in its true light and blunder on blinded by the brilliant beam of political opportunism. I sincerely hope he is not one of those. I could go on and discuss medical care and the increasing demands on doctors' services, the over utilization, the ever-increasing costs, the deterioration in quality care, but I do not wish to prolong these estimates at this time more than is necessary. Suffice it to say that we must look very closely at these other areas of need in this country. I ask the
March 8. 1966
government to look again at the Hall Commission report wherein they point out that we need doctors and we need health resource funds immediately to start building in the next few years for the number of doctors and the other personnel that will be necessary at that time.
I favour prepaid medical care. I work now under the scheme in Saskatchewan and have done so since its inception on July 23, 1962. But I would hate to see any more schemes introduced in this country by following the same rough road by which the scheme came into being in Saskatchewan because it caused heartache and disturbance among the profession and the people of that province. I do not wish to see this happen anywhere else.
As I say, Mr. Chairman, I favour prepaid medical care but not at the expense of the entire economy or the quality of medical care. Surely in growing up we must first crawl and then walk before we run. Surely it is wise to provide care primarily where it is needed and specifically where it will do the most good. Provide the doctors, provide the nurses, provide modern hospitals with modern equipment, an adequate number of beds and all those other things I have mentioned and you will remove most of my objections to this plan.
Above all-and may I address this request to the minister-do not forget to have adequate consultation with those providing the service. This is something that got lost in the shuffle in the province I represent. Remember that the Canadian Medical Association asked the former prime minister, now Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, to set up the Hall Commission. Give the medical profession ample opportunity to discuss the matter with you, Mr. Minister, and you will find the path ahead a smooth one. Given such consultation, even the smokescreens of socialistic sophistry will dissipate in the cool winds of reason and understanding.
[DOT] (4:30 p.m.)
March 8, 1966
Would the hon. member permit a question? Is he familiar with the meaning of the word "universal" as it is used in the Hall report? If not, I am perfectly willing to acquaint him with it.