ARCHIVED - Health Services Review (1979-1980)

The Health Services Review was established under terms of reference, or guidelines, that were set out by the federal and provincial ministers of Health on September 17, 1979. These terms, which refer to the national health policy, direct the Special Commissioner to:

  • report on progress made on national health policy since the Royal Commission in 1964;
  • examine the extent to which principles of portability, reasonable access, universal coverage, comprehensive coverage, public administration, and uniform terms and conditions were being achieved;
  • consider whether there should be other basic principles for health insurance delivery;
  • consider the nature and extent of necessary revisions to Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act and Medical Care Act and related legislation; and,
  • consider other ways public authorities could comply with principles in the Act.

The Review was chaired by Mr. Justice Emmett M. Hall, with assistance in Qu├ębec from Dr. Alice Girard. The terms of reference included consultation with federal and provincial ministers of Health and Social Services, and their officials, health workers, users of health services and health institutions, and associations that represented any of them. Mr. Justice Hall held public hearings in every province and in the Northwest Territories, and received 450 submissions.


The final report of the Review, Canada's National-Provincial Health Program for the 1980's: A Commitment for Renewal, was published in August 29, 1980. Recommendations include: ending user fees and extra-billing; changing mechanisms for physicians' fees; and setting national standards for portability, comprehensiveness, accessibility, public administration and universal coverage.

Where to get the report

The Health Services Review report is only available in print form at some public libraries, depository libraries throughout Canada, and some university libraries.

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