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Health, Aging and Society
Elena Neiterman

Chapter 11: Medical Practitioners, Medicare, and the State Early Canadian Medical Organizations: -the first Canadian medical ‘system’ was composed of the various medical/religious institutions of the many groups of Aboriginal peoples -they handed down their traditions orally, so the only written accounts are from white settlers, priests, explorers and traders -these writers tell us that medicine men or shamans were frequently called upon to diagnose and treat various types of injuries and disease -Canada’s Aboriginal peoples are known to have used over 500 different plants as medicines; some were chewed and swallowed, some drunk in herbal teas, some boiled and the vapours inhaled, some infused and even poured as medicine into the patient’s ear -plants were used for ritual purposes -immigrants were often malnourished to begin with and were faced with grave dangers from the overcrowded conditions on the boats in which they came to Canada -accidents occurred frequently, weather was sometimes harsh too The Origins of the Contemporary Medical Care System: th -19 century Canada: a wide variety of practitioners were offering their services and selling their wares in an open market -whiskey, brandy, and opium were widely used medicines -most of the first allopathic medical practitioners in New France were either barber-surgeons from France who had received primitive training as apprentices or apothecaries who acted as general practitioners dispensing available medicines -surgery was only practised on the limbs and the surface of the body -internal surgery almost always resulted in death because bleeding and sepsis were not yet either successfully treatable or preventable -2 other common treatments were purging and inducing vomiting -1 medical school in Canada was established in 1824 Efforts of Early Allopathic Physicians to Organize: -numerous attempts were made by allopathic doctors dating from 1795, to have legislation passed that would:  Prohibit any but allopathic practitioners from practising  Provide the allopaths with licences under which they could practise  Control admittance to allopathic practise -allopathic practitioners had high social standing in the new colony -they expressed frustration with their working conditions; they claimed they were under-rewarded and under-esteemed because of the competition from irregulars and because of the disorganized state of the medical schools -in 1859, homeopathy was the first profession to be legalized -there was a power struggle between the university based doctors and the practitioners -1849: legislation was passed to allow automatic incorporation of anyone who had been engaged in practice in 1847 A Brief History of U
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