Championed government investment in a national health insurance plan
An advocate for equal access health services for all Canadians
When the Canadian government saw the success of the Saskatchewan hospital insurance plan in 1947, leaders turned to Justice Emmett Hall to chair a royal commission on the feasibility of expanding such a plan to a national scale. The Royal Commission on Health Services, known as the Hall Commission, interviewed hundreds of Canadians across the country and highlighted the various health concerns of the average citizen. In large part due to the Hall Commission’s clear endorsement of the Saskatchewan model, the National Medical Care Insurance Act was passed on December 8, 1966 by an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons.
His early experience with patterns of economic depression and drought in Saskatchewan likely shaped his view of the importance of helping fellow citizens
Served as the Chief Justice of Saskatchewan before his appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1962
The National Medical Care Insurance Act passed in the House of Commons with a vote of 177 to 2
Remained an advocate for the rights of Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities to the end of his life
Impact on lives today
Before the introduction of the National Medical Care Insurance Act, health care costs could cripple Canadians families. As a result of Justice Hall’s passionate support for a single-tier national health care insurance plan, Canadians experience a level of health care access that ensures the well-being of millions of Canadians. Justice Hall understood that an investment in Canadian’s health was an investment in the betterment of Canadian society.
Emmett Hall inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Quebec City, Quebec
Canada Health ActHealth Policy
Justice Hall remained at the forefront of health policy development when he chaired a review of Medicare’s implementation. His revisions led to the Canada Health Act in 1984, which included the accessibility principle for government funding.
The National Medical Care Insurance Act came into effect on July 1st. Today, it is more commonly referred to as medicare.
Justice Hall’s advocacy for a government-funded health insurance plan took place amidst fierce opposition. In July, the doctors of Saskatchewan went on strike for 23 days.
Saskatchewan takes the lead
Saskatchewan introduced Canada’s first provincial government-funded hospital insurance plan.
The only thing more expensive than good health care is no health care.