Seven days after we launched our highly successful fundraising drive (now extended to January 25), asking for donations of $50 or more in honour of the 50th anniversary of Medicare in exchange for a signed copy of the book A Healthy Society, we are pleased to share the following message from C. Stuart Houston, author of Steps on the Road to Medicare.
Dear NDP Member:
Ryan Meili’s superb new book, A Healthy Society, is one you must read. Combined with his candidacy for leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, it could represent a sea change in progressive fortunes in this province.
Meili’s convincing arguments demonstrate that health services are far from the most important factor in determining the health of a population – placing ninth in the Social Determinants of Health. Income and education are the top two determinants. Expensive equipment in my own field of radiology is essential in investigating patients once they become ill – but that is after ill-health strikes and the “horse is out of the barn.” Improving society to decrease inequality, following the ideals of Tommy Douglas, the proven formula for CCF-NDP success that led to Medicare 50 years ago, is infinitely more important.
Who understands health and environment best among four excellent candidates for NDP leader? Ryan Meili. Ryan gained 70% of the final votes in the NDP convention hall in Regina on June 6, 2009, but after adding in those who had voted in advance or online, without an opportunity to hear Meili speak that day, Lingenfelter won with 55% of the total votes. The provincial election on November 7, 2011, proved what a mistake the party had made.
Health and the environment are the NDPs strongest platform for regaining lost constituency seats in the next provincial election. Read A Healthy Society, and you will understand why I believe Ryan Meili is much the best choice for leader of the NDP.
C. Stuart Houston, OC, SOM, DLitt, MD, FRCPC
p.s. To make a donation to Ryan's campaign and receive your copy of the book, go to http://www.ryanmei.li/donate
C. Stuart Houston is Professor Emeritus of Medical Imaging, University of Saskatchewan and a past-president of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine. Among his twelve books are two about the history of Medicare – Steps on the Road to Medicare (2002) and Tommy’s Team: The People Behind the Douglas Years with co-author U of S History Professor Bill Waiser (2010).