St. Andrews Pioneers Public Hospitalization Plan in 1936.
- In the period 1931-1936 residents of St. Andrews had contracted medical bills of over $6,000.00 ($93,500.00 in 2013 dollars)of which $1,500.00 was unpaid. Many members of the community were not seeking adequate health care because of their inability to pay.
- The St. Andrews Hospitalization Plan began about 1931 with parish priest Fr. John R. MacDonald; Co-op store manager, Angus H. MacPherson; Mother Ignatius, (formerly Mary Catherine Floyd of Springfield) Superior of The Sisters of St. Martha; Angus Bernard MacDonald, assistant director of St. F. X. Extension Department; and R. J. MacSween, Director of Co-Operatives for Nova Scotia.
- It was through the St. Andrews Co-Operative Store in 1936 that Group Hospitalization was first started in Nova Scotia. A contract was drawn with the St. Andrews Co-Operative agreeing to pay the amount of $375.00 in quarterly installments to the hospital. St. Martha`s Hospital agreed to provide in return, five weeks of free ward service, ordinary medicine, 50% private or semi-private room reduction, free laboratory service, 50% reduction in X-Ray, and operating room costs for all shareholders, and the members of their families.
- This plan provided the foundation for the setting up in 1943 of the Blue Cross Hospitalization plan for the Maritimes.