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Hutchison's dedication to primary care honoured with Emmett Hall Lectureship

15 May 2013

Brian Hutchison’s lifelong dedication to understanding and improving primary health care in Canada is being recognized with the Emmett Hall Memorial Lectureship, one of Canada’s most prestigious honours.

Hutchison, a Professor Emeritus at CHEPA and McMaster's departments of Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, will present the Hall Laureate Lecture on May 29th at the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) annual conference in Vancouver.

The lectureship is a lifetime achievement award conferred by health services and policy scholars in Canada, says Greg Marchildon, president of the Hall Foundation, which sponsors the lectureship. The lecturer is nominated by peers on the basis of outstanding contributions to the health ideals articulated by “the father of Canadian Medicare Justice Emmett Hall: equity, fairness, justice and efficiency.”

Hutchison is being honoured for his lifelong dedication to understanding and improving primary care in Canada, based on rigorous, evidence-based research. In addition, he has encouraged health services and policy research through his work in the Canadian Association of Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) and as editor of Healthcare Policy, Marchildon says.

Hutchison, who joined McMaster in 1975, served as CHEPA’s director from 2002 until his retirement in 2005. He is presently Co-Chair of the Canadian Working Group for Primary Healthcare Improvement; a Senior Advisor for Primary Care, Health Quality Ontario and Chair, Family Health Team Evaluation Advisory Committee, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

In 2004 he received the Health Services Research Advancement Award from the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, which recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of the health services research community in Canada, and is a Life Member, College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Hutchison’s topic for the lecture is From Hall to Now: Reflections on Canadian Medicare from a Primary Care Perspective.

Emmett Hall (1898-1996) was a Chief Justice on the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal who, at the request of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, led the Royal Commission on Health Services. The commission’s 1964 report recommended the establishment of a universal, single-payer model of medical care insurance in Canada, reflecting Hall’s belief that all Canadians should have access to basic health needs on the same terms and conditions without financial barriers.

In 1979, Hall was asked by the federal government to conduct a check-up on Medicare. His report the following year, as well as his concerns about the growing use of extra billing and user fees, led to the Canada Health Act of 1984.

Previous Hall Laureates include Dr. Michael Rachlis, The Hon. Roy Romanow and Dr. Fraser Mustard.

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