Universal health care through the lens of national history, identity.

The Lancet-The Trap of History

Every country has its own story, its own fears and dark shadows. One of the biggest unacknowledged challenges facing global health is adapting evidence to these national stories, resolving a persistent and troubling discrepancy between knowledge, history, and identity.

A MUST READ. Also though not directly related, an argument for liberal arts education as a grounding force in our science-and-tech obsessed world.

Short but oh-so relevant as we in the US scratch heads and gnash teeth and poor poor policy makers can’t seem to get a handle on HOW DO WE MAKE THESE PEOPLE HAPPY! My dream team that will save US health care: The Social Anthropologist, The Historian, The Sociologist, The Behavioral Economist, The Nurse!, and we’ll have a doc too if Atul Gawande has the time. He we be called The Atul Gawande.


4 thoughts on “Universal health care through the lens of national history, identity.

  1. Canadian identity is also very tied to our health care system. The CBC (our PBS) ran a series of television programs where viewers voted on the “Greatest Canadian” of all time. The winner was Tommy Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan and father of Canadian Medicare, the first iteration of our national healthcare system. Douglas won out ahead of Wayne Gretzky and Terry Fox (a beloved Canadian figure that most Americans have never heard of but seriously google him). Fun celebrity fact: Kiefer Sutherland is Tommy Douglas’s grandson.

    Side-note: as someone who both worked in, and consumed, healthcare in a system that is free at the point of service, I really didn’t get the impression that people used it more than Americans because it was “free.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oof, well without Googling I’m pretty weak, but I know that Saskatchewan and Alberta had provincial hospital care plans that covered most people in the 1950s, but universal coverage (that included medical care delivered outside of hospitals) wasn’t expanded nationally until the mid-60s. I’m sure there are some steps in between. I should obviously read up on this!

    Liked by 1 person

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