The Saskatchewan Doctors Strike ended on July 23 when the cabinet and the College of Physicians and Surgeons signed a 29-point memorandum. The deal, known as the Saskatoon Agreement, had been brokered by Lord Taylor largely from his hotel suite in Saskatoon. Though the settlement would mean significant changes to the Act, both sides had backed away from the original stands.
At the same time, each side was able to retain some of the characteristics they regarded as fundamental. The Act was to be amended in areas that the doctors felt threatened their independence of action while the principle of universality was maintained. Instead of one means of doctor payment there would be four:
- Private contract. Paying the doctor directly with no compensation.
- Patient reimbursement. Patient pays doctor and is then compensated by the government plan.
- Doctor bills plan. The doctor sends the bill directly to the medicare plan.
- Approved health agencies. Doctors’ insurance companies act as a clearing-house for the Medical Care Commission.
The necessary amendments were passed at a special one-day session of the Saskatchewan Legislature on 2 August 1962.
Below is the cover of the Saskatchewan Department of Public Health newsletter issued to the public outlining the new plan (click to enlarge).