Privilege and Policy
A History of Community Clinics in Saskatchewan
The introduction of medicare in Saskatchewan marks a dividing point in the history of the province and Canada. Before 1962, access to medical care was predicated on ability to pay and private health insurance. After 1962, access to needed medical care became a right in Saskatchewan, later extended to the rest of Canada. The battle to establish medicare was hard fought and in the front lines were community clinics, non-profit, consumer-controlled health co-operatives offering interdisciplinary primary care. Stan Rands was one of the key individuals who established and managed community clinics in Saskatchewan.
Here is his story of how the medicare battle was fought by those who not only wanted to eliminate money as a barrier to care but also wanted to change the way health care was delivered. This is the inside story of a more radical vision of medicare, one that has still not been achieved in Canada.