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Bitter Medicine, Part One: The Birth of Medicare

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Part one of a two-part documentary examining Canada's national health insurance system from its conception on the Canadian Prairies in the early part of the century to its present state of crisis. This first part traces the events leading to July 2, 1962, the day on which Medicare was launched in Saskatchewan. The doctors reacted to the plan by declaring a general strike. The film recreates this stormy chapter of Canadian history through film and television archives and personal testimonies, particularly those of former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas and Chief Justice Emmett Hall.

1983, 27 min 15 s

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