Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Published in Great Plains Research 20.1 (Spring 2010): 151-52.


Copyright 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Marchildon and O’Fee set out to provide a detailed description of the Saskatchewan health care system, integrating details of how health care is organized, funded, and delivered in this Canadian prairie province. To accomplish their goal of fostering a better understanding of the provincial health system and its inputs and outcomes, they walk their readers through a thicket of details, including standings on health status indicators; macrolevel organizational structures; financing and expenditures; range of services, resources and technologies; and a sample of semirecent health reforms. They then close with a brief assessment of the system’s performance.

What the authors attempt is worthwhile, and they present an enormous amount of descriptive data in their text. If the indicator used to measure success were sheer volume of facts, they would have succeeded. The text is literally bursting with numbers and details. However, given that the book’s subtitle promised an analytical profile, not merely a descriptive one, these authors owe their readers more.