2012 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Finalist

Chronic Condition

Jeffrey Simpson
Chronic Condition 
Allen Lane Canada




Jury Citation

"Jeffrey Simpson tackles a perennial subject – medicare – with a fresh and unstinting eye. He thoroughly reviews our health system’s past and present, before examining possible solutions, including efficiencies, user fees, privatization, prevention, and pharmacare, with reference to the experiences of Sweden, Australia, and Britain. A serious and timely contribution to the debate over the future of Canadian health-care."

About the Book

Medicare is the third rail of Canadian politics. It costs about $200 billion a year in public and private money and cannot continue as is – increasingly ill-adapted to an aging population with public costs growing faster than government revenues. Jeffrey Simpson finds that other countries have more extensive public-health systems, and Canadian health-care produces only average value for money. Our rigid system for some health-care needs and a costly system for others– drugs, dentistry, and home care – is really the worst of both worlds. In Chronic Condition Simpson details the options Canadians have to grapple with this growing problem, including cuts to non-health-care spending, tax increases, various types of privatization, and finding savings within the system itself.

About the Author

Jeffery Simpson has been the Globe and Mail’s national affairs columnist for more than 25 years. He is the author of eight previous books – including Discipline of Power, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award – and is an officer of the Order of Canada. He has also won the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public-policy journalism. He lives in Ottawa.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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