On April 25 the Port Hardy Museum will feature a blast from the past, with a temporary exhibit that looks back on the history of medical care on the North Island.
The ‘Medical Care on the North Island and Central Coast’ exhibit highlights the often precarious state that medical care was in on the North Island, going back nearly 80 years.
Museum Curator Jane Hutton said that often what seems like the most basic of medical procedures were often so far behind medical science of the day, that a broken leg could mean a death sentence.
Pieces of local history will be on display, featuring medical supplies belonging to a former Port Hardy doctor. The collection includes items such as medical bags and equipment.
Hutton says something that is forgotten all too often is the role that churches played in bringing medical care to the isolated communities of the North Island.
A particularly rough time for health care in the area was after the introduction of universal health care in Canada, with the program being difficult to implement locally due to a lack of a tax base.
“Logging companies would pay premiums to the local hospital to help care for their own local employees.
“When socialized medicine did come in, people stopped paying the old way, but there wasn’t enough income from the new way, so people were kind of stuck in the middle,” said Hutton.
The grand opening of the exhibit will take place at the Port Hardy Museum on April 25, from 1 to 4 p.m.