Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“Courage, my friend; ‘Tis not too late to build a better world.”

© Irma Coucill & CMHF
1998 Inductee

The Honourable Thomas Douglas

Born: 
October 20, 1904, Falkirk, Scotland
Died: 
February 24, 1986
Education: 
BA - Brandon College; MA - McMaster University
The Honourable Thomas "Tommy" Douglas envisioned, built and tirelessly promoted our national system of healthcare. The proposal for medicare in 1959, was that it would be universal, pre-paid, publicly administered, accepted by both providers and receivers of the medical service and it would provide high quality care, including preventive care. The very same principles introduced by Douglas in 1959 are found in the 1984 Canada Health Act. Douglas will always have the distinct title of "The Father of Canadian Healthcare".

Thomas Clement Douglas earned his BA at Brandon College and graduated with his MA from McMaster University in 1933. Two years later, Douglas won his first election. This would be the start of his 44 year run as an elected official. Since then, his leadership has provided long term benefits to medical science in Canada and the Canadian health care system.  

To recognize his achievements, Douglas was awarded the companion of the Order of Canada and a national scholarship has been established in his name. Douglas died in 1986 but prior to his death, he had already become an integral part of Canadian history and one of Canada's most respected visionary politicians.