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AboutAbout

Seven Decades of “Making a Healthy Contribution”

AMS’S Contribution to Health Care

AMS Office 1943-1970
AMS Office 1943-1970

Since its incorporation in 1937 AMS has been making a significant contribution to the health and health care of Canadian society. Founded by Dr. Jason Hannah as Canada’s first physician-sponsored, not-for-profit prepaid health care organization, AMS established a pattern for prepaid health care that continues to be emulated in various forms in both the private and public sectors. An Ontario-based corporation, AMS served hundreds of thousands of subscribers in Ontario. Unlike other plans that served a defined membership (unions, employees etc.) AMS provided health care coverage to individual subscribers such as shopkeepers and farmers, people who would not otherwise have qualified for membership in a prepaid health insurance plan. The health services provided by AMS included those of a private physician chosen by the patient, diagnostic services, hospital care including surgery, as well as maternal and child-care and home visiting.

AMS’s role as a health care provider concluded on October 1, 1969 after the province of Ontario joined the national Medicare program. AMS continued as an agent of the government of Ontario in the administration of the Ontario Health Services Insurance Plan of the Ontario Department of Health (OHSIP) until 1972.

AMS the Charity

AMS OHSIP Cheque issued in 1970 as payment for a physician's services.
AMS OHSIP Cheque issued in 1970 as payment for a physician's services.

When AMS's role as a health care provider ceased, the Government of Ontario permitted the corporation to use its remaining reserve fund for charitable purposes. That reserve fund, established from subscriber subscriptions as required by government, became the source of AMS’s income as a self-funded charity. In July of 1976 AMS was registered under the Federal Income Tax Act as a charitable organization with responsibility for the security of the reserve funds resting with the Board of Directors. The original reserve fund, through careful investment and financial management, continues to be the sole source of AMS revenue.

AMS is governed by a Board of Directors each Director being a resident of Ontario, Collectively the Board represent experience and leadership in health care, education and finance. While AMS is an Ontario-based charity, its charitable contributions encompass the entire country.