In the mid 1990s, the provincial government of Saskatchewan, a large rural province with a million people, knew it had to make some unpopular decisions to balance its books. Fifty-two small hospitals were earmarked for closure or conversion, one of several steps taken by the government to reduce spending on health.
Louise Simard was Minister of Health at the time. Here she talks to the Nuffield Trust about how she and her cabinet colleagues set about persuading the people of Saskatchewan that their much loved local services would have to be radically changed. Louise presented at the Nuffield Trust and Canadian Health Services Research Foundation partnership event: Managing a health system through an economic downturn: A masterclass, in May 2011.