Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
History: 19892007 SAVING THE SYSTEM: THE CANADA HEALTH ACT, THE OTTAWA CHARTER AND ACHIEVING HEALTH FOR ALL, 19781988 THE ENDLESS CHALLENGE: BALANCING CHANGE AND CONTINUITY, 19892007



The Liberals Return, 19931997

During the federal election in 1993, the Liberal Party promised to renew its commitment to medicare, and from 1994 to 1997 Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, with the support of his health ministers, chaired a National Forum on Health. One of the most important issues facing the federal and provincial governments was a lack of information about the range and type of services, human resources requirements and costs generated in the health care sector. To deal with this, the Canadian Institute for Health Information was created in 1994 and has subsequently become a world leader in producing definitive annual reports on topics such as health spending, services and personnel needs. (See CIHI for annual reports on Canadians’ health status and selected aspects of the health care system.) Through the first Chrétien mandate, the forum spent several years reviewing the many challenges facing the health care system and, in its final report, Canada Health Action: Building on the Legacy (1997), recommended renewed federal leadership in creating evidence-based programs to support all of the determinants of health — not just those found in hospitals and doctors’ offices. The report also made firm recommendations for national home care and pharmacare programs, recognizing that these were areas in which citizens were now bearing much of the burden, since federal and provincial governments mainly funded curative services in acute care settings.

Photo:  In the late 1990s, health information on a variety of topics became available from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), founded in 1994.

In the late 1990s, health information on a variety of topics became available from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), founded in 1994.
Courtesy of the Canadian Institute for Health Information



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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010