History of Health in Saskatchewan: An Interactive Timeline (1966-2020)

This research explores historical events that have played a role in impacting Saskatchewan residents’ health, healthcare, and standards of social and economic living over the past century. This study, a Baseline Analysis of Past Health Inequities, is part of a larger SPHERU project, The Origins and Import of Health Inequities in Saskatchewan, 1905-1985, that is focused on reducing current health inequities by addressing their historical underlying origins, with a specific focus on inequities experienced by vulnerable, minority and isolated populations. The basis of this timeline is to paint a comprehensive picture of the history of health and health-related events that have occurred in Saskatchewan. Including a wide spread umbrella of entries that have affected the health of Saskatchewan residents, this timeline features social determinants, formal legislation, technological interventions and medical breakthroughs, widespread epidemics and changing healthcare practices. Dates and descriptions of events are chronologically ordered to create a story that begins with Saskatchewan’s entry into Confederation in 1905 and spans eighty years to 1985.

This timeline serves as a tool for knowledge translation. The easily scrollable events are practical for use by students, educators and fellow researchers. Additionally, some events provide links to secondary websites that offer a more in-depth discussion of the event. As we are continuously working to improve our tools for knowledge translation, we welcome your feedback and will respond to any questions, concerns or comments via email at spheru.timeline@uregina.ca.;xNLx;

1780-01-01 12:16:38

CATEGORY LEGEND

The events of this timeline are separated into categories which adhere to a specific colour code. Please refer to the attached image for the category legend.

1966-01-01 12:16:38

THE MEDICAL CARE ACT, 1966

Expanding on the initial Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act, 1957, the Medical Care Act, 1966, offered to cover half of all provincial and territorial expenditures on medical services provided by doctors outside of hospitals.

1966-11-05 03:17:54

CLINIC CONTRACTS TO PROVIDE MINOR SURGERY CANCELLED

In an attempt to control health care spending in the province the Liberal government under Premier W. Ross Thatcher discontinues health clinic contracts to provide minor surgery along with a number of laboratory, x-ray, and physiotherapy contracts. Due to the loss of revenues as a result of these cuts clinics start running increasing budgetary deficits, weakening the community clinic movement as a whole. By 1972 only 10 of the original 25 CHSA’s are still in operation.

1967-11-05 03:17:54

PROVINCIAL GENERAL ELECTION

The sixteenth provincial general election is held on October 11th.

1968-10-22 03:24:14

WASCANA REHABILITATION CENTRE OPENS IN REGINA

The Wascana Rehabilitation Centre opened in 1968, after the amalgamation of the Physical Rehabilitation Centre and the Provincial Geriatric Centre. It became part of the Regina Qu'appelle Health region in 2002, and currently has 307 beds.

1968-11-05 03:17:54

SASKATOON COMMUNITY HEALTH FOUNDATION ESTABLISHED

In order to facilitate studies to prove their worth the Saskatoon Community Health Association creates this Foundation as a charity to provide research into the delivery of medical care in the province. While subsequent reports from the Foundation fail to impress the provincial Thatcher government, the federal government takes an ongoing interest and provides funding to research various health related issues.

1969-01-01 12:16:38

THE PRINCE ALBERT VICTORIA UNION HOSPITAL & PSYCHIATRIC CENTRE AT PRINCE ALBERT OPENS IN JULY

The hospital portion of the institute provides 135 acute-care patient beds, while the psychiatric centre accommodates 60 in-patients.

1969-11-05 03:17:54

SNAPSHOT IN TIME

Photo shows the laboratory at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.

1970-01-01 21:03:30

MOOSE JAW UNION HOSPITAL CLOSES

In 1970, after 64 years of operation, the Moose Jaw Union Hospital (formerly called the Moose Jaw General Hospital) was closed by the provincial government. The Nursing School was also closed during this time.

1970-11-05 03:17:54

SNAPSHOT IN TIME

The Cobalt machine at the Alan Blair Clinic in the Grey Nuns Hospital, Regina.

1970-11-05 03:17:54

1970 - 1980 STATISTICS

1971-01-01 12:16:38

SASKATCHEWAN HOSPITAL IN WEYBURN CONVERTED INTO A PSYCHIATRIC CENTRE

Due, in large part, to the success of the “Saskatchewan Plan” the mental health in-patient population drops so markedly that Saskatchewan Hospital Weyburn is “phased over” into a psychiatric centre 63 primary beds and a 300 bed extended care facility.

1971-01-01 12:16:38

PROVINCIAL GENERAL ELECTION

The seventeenth provincial general election is held on June 23rd.

1972-01-01 12:16:38

FIRST MEETING OF REGINA'S GAY COMMUNITY

Held in the home of Don Murdoch. The group officially names itself the Atropos Friendship Society which eventually evolves into the Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina (GLCR). It is Canada’s oldest continuously running LGBT organization.

1973-01-01 12:16:38

A FIRST IN SASKATCHEWAN HISTORY, SMOKING IS ALLOWED ONLY IN DESIGNATED AREAS OF SASKATCHEWAN HOSPITALS

This represents the first effort to reduce smoking in shared, public spaces.

1974-01-01 09:08:20

PLAINS HEALTH CENTRE OPENS IN REGINA

The Plains Health Centre opened in Regina in 1974. The building was under construction for four years, beginning on July 9th 1970 with the Groundbreaking Ceremonies. The Centre had 303 beds and was the first hospital in Canada with primarily single-room accommodations, and served as a resource hub for south-eastern rural hospitals in Saskatchewan. In the 1992 "Report on More Effective Hospital Care for Regina", otherwise known as the Atkinson Report, the Plains Health Centre was recommended for closure. The Centre was closed in 1998. To learn more about the Atkinson Report, click "Find Out More" below.

1974-01-01 12:16:38

THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG ACT IS PASSED

The universal Drug Plan is available to all residents and is intended to subsidize the cost of prescription drugs through a flat co-payment. Due to the rising costs of pharmaceuticals however, the payment required by users of the Drug Plan is soon revised to reflect individual deductibles based on income level. This marks the first universal drug plan of its kind in Canada.

1974-01-01 12:16:38

SASKATCHEWAN DENTAL PLAN CREATED

First outlined as a possibility in the 1952 Saskatchewan Health Survey, the Plan (established by the NDP Blakeney government) provides universal dental coverage for all children in the province between the ages of 4 and 13. It quickly raises the standard of dental care and hygiene in Saskatchewan to one of the highest in North America. Despite its perceived success the Plan is terminated in 1987 by the Progressive Conservative government under Premier Grant Devine, 400 program employees being laid off in the process.

1974-01-01 12:16:38

SASKATCHEWAN UNION OF NURSES (SUN) IS CREATED

Formed on January 19, 1974 with a unanimous vote by the province’s nurses. By the end of the same year SUN becomes the official bargaining agent for nurses in 76 hospitals and 5 nursing homes in Saskatchewan with a total membership of 2,500.

1974-01-01 12:16:38

THE LALONDE REPORT, TITLED "A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE HEALTH OF CANADIANS", IS RELEASED

The report highlights two main objectives: the health care system and the prevention of health problems and the promotion of health, to be integrated for the increased health of all Canadians. (15) Defining the four major components of the health field as: human biology, health care systems, environment and lifestyle, the report marked the first stage of health promotion in Canada. The paper argued that many socioeconomic factors function as determinants of health and that the biomedical health care model should be adapted to encompass these modern theories in order to achieve a higher level of population health for all individuals.

1975-01-01 12:16:38

PROVINCIAL GENERAL ELECTION

The eighteenth provincial general election is held on June 11th.

1976-01-01 12:16:38

SNAPSHOT IN TIME

Nurses perform a fitness test at the Regina Pasqua Hospital in October of 1976.

1976-01-01 12:16:38

SNAPSHOT IN TIME

Instruction and treatment at the Saskatchewan dental facilities located in the Regina General Hospital.

1976-01-01 12:16:38

SNAPSHOT IN TIME

A laboratory scientist shows the incubation of the Swine flu virus in eggs.

1976-11-05 03:17:54

SNAPSHOT IN TIME

A young patient visits a dentist at the La Ronge Dental Clinic.

1977-01-01 12:16:38

LARGEST GAY RIGHTS DEMONSTRATION EVER HELD ON THE PRAIRIES

The Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights sponsors the “largest gay rights demonstration ever held on the prairies” at the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina. 125 supporters attend.

1977-01-01 12:16:38

SASKATOON COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHES OPTOMETRY PROGRAM FOR NORTHERN SASKATCHEWAN

Contracted by the Department of Northern Affairs Saskatchewan and Health and Welfare Canada, the Saskatoon CHSA creates an optometry program for Saskatchewan North. This is part of the Association’s push to expand medical services beyond its traditional base and provide programs devised specifically for “new immigrants,” Aboriginal peoples, and the poor.

1977-11-05 03:17:54

KINSMEN HOSTS THE FIRST TELEMIRACLE TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

The telethon receives an overwhelming amount of support and becomes an annual event that sets new records for “per capita giving”.

1978-01-01 00:00:00

THE PRIVACY ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to outline privacy guidelines. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more".

1978-01-01 12:16:38

THE MEDICAL AND HOSPITALIZATION TAX REPEAL ACT

This legislation prevents premiums from being applied under the Saskatchewan Hospitalization Act or the Saskatchewan Medical Care insurance act. To view the most recent version of this legislation, click "Find out more".

1978-01-01 12:16:38

PROVINCIAL GENERAL ELECTION

The nineteenth provincial general election is held on October 18th.

1978-01-01 12:16:38

THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL AID ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to provide protection from liability for medical professionals providing care in emergency situations. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more".

1978-01-01 12:16:38

THE MUTUAL MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL BENEFIT ASSOCIATION ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to provide the authority for community clinics to operate in Saskatchewan. To view the most recent version of this legislation, click "Find out more".

1978-01-01 12:16:38

THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to provide the authority for the creation of public health standards. To view the most recent version of the act, click "Find out more".

1978-01-01 12:16:38

THE HOSPITAL STANDARDS ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to outline the service standards to be met within hospitals. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more:.

1978-01-01 12:16:38

THE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to provide authority for the management of the provincial drug subsidy plan. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more".

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ACT IS PASSED

The Act transfers all legal authority over expenditures, research, committees, laboratories, and other activities for the benefit of the health system, to the responsibility of the Saskatchewan Minister of Health.

1978-11-05 03:17:54

HEALTH PROMOTION DIRECTORATE CREATED

Based on recommendations from the 1974 Lalonde Report, the federal Department of National Health and Welfare creates the Health Promotion Directorate. The Directorate legitimizes health promotion as a federal bureaucratic structure and introduces several initiatives. One such initiative tackles impaired driving and encourages the wearing of seat belts.

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE SASKATCHEWAN ASSISTANCE ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to provide for the granting of assistance - financial, goods and services, health and burial coverage, etc. - to persons in need. To view the most recent version of the act, click "Find out more".

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE DENTAL CARE ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to regulate the provision of dental services. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more".

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE OPHTHALMIC DISPENSERS ACT

This legislation outlines the guidelines by which the optician profession is permitted to self-regulate.

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE SASKATCHEWAN MEDICAL CARE INSURANCE ACT

This legislation provides authority for the province's medical care insurance program and the payment of physicians. To view the most recent version of the act, click "Find out more".

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE CHIROPODY PROFESSION ACT

This piece of legislation outlines the guidelines by which the Chiropody and Podiatry professions are permitted to self-regulate. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more".

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE HUMAN TISSUE GIFT ACT

This piece of legislation was passed in order to regulate human tissue (i.e. organs, etc. excluding skin, bone, blood, blood constituent or other tissue that is capable of regeneration via natural processes) donations. Click on "Find out more" to view the most recent copy of this legislation.

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE NATUROPATHY ACT

This legislation was passed to regulate the practice of naturopathic medicine. To view the most recent version of the act, click on "Find out more:.

1978-11-05 03:17:54

THE REHABILITATION ACT

This legislation outlines the guidelines by which a person in need of rehabilitation services can receive financial assistance for these services from the provincial government. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more".

1979-11-05 03:17:54

THE CANCER FOUNDATION ACT

The purpose of this legislation is to establish the Saskatchewan Cancer Foundation and to outline the means by which it is funded. To view the most recent version of this act, click "Find out more".

1980-01-01 12:16:38

LIFE EXPECTANCY

In 1980, females in Saskatchewan have a life expectancy of 79.9 years, while males average a 7 year lower life expectancy, of 72.5 years old.

1980-01-01 12:16:38

1980 - 1990 STATISTICS

1980-01-01 12:16:38

INFANT MORTALITY

Infant mortality rates average 11.3 deaths per 1000 live births.

History of Health in Saskatchewan: An Interactive Timeline (1966-2020)

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