The irony in this approach was that, in 1958, the province’s 922 doctors had average net earnings of $12,000, while 58 per cent of Saskatchewan’s breadwinners supported their families on less than $2,500 a year. Since the annual cost of medical care insurance from private carriers was $75–$80 for most families, the poor could not participate, and many citizens had to make difficult choices about where to allocate their limited funds. Government staff had already concluded that it would be too costly and administratively cumbersome to provide subsidies to the indigent and the working poor. Then, in October 1961, the Saskatchewan Medical Care Insurance Act was introduced in the legislature. It created a provincially funded, universal, prepaid insurance system that would eliminate anxiety about medical services insurance costs for Saskatchewan’s citizens. The doctors were outraged that they had not been consulted about the legislation and they vowed to reject government control of their practices. This set the stage for confrontation.