The conflict over the Canada Health Act had signalled an important change in the politics of health care in Canada. The deference that had been accorded to the medical profession was eroded as a result of the doctors’ failure to convince the public that the system was underfunded. For the provinces, Ottawa’s right to set standards was undermined by its declining cash contributions to their health care plans. But most provinces did welcome the opportunity to experiment with different approaches to restructuring the delivery of health services. Indeed, Ontario had permitted an American multinational to take over the management of the Hawkesbury Hospital in January 1983 in order to test whether public or private control was the most effective way to cut costs and provide services. Such initiatives challenged the basic principles of the national system.