Peter John Banks' most notable achievement was the negotiation of the first agreement between doctors and the government of British Columbia, Canada, that formed the basis of the first medicare plan.
He was born in Gidea Park, Essex, where his father Joseph Charles Richard Banks was a businessman. He was educated at Epsom College prep school, and went on to medical school at Bart's, where he also held house officer, junior registrar and registrar appointments. From 1948 to 1949 he served with the Royal Air Force.
In 1953, Banks decided to emigrate to Canada. Arriving in Victoria, he took a job teaching interns and also became Victoria's first internist. From 1968 to 1970, he was chief of staff at Victoria General.
Banks was president of the British Columbia Medical Association in 1964, when he participated in the start up of the province's and Canada's medicare programmes. In 1973, he was head of the Canadian Medical Association.
Banks' achievements were recognised by the award of the Order of British Columbia in 1996. His medical colleagues at the Canadian Medical Association paid him homage in 1997 when they awarded him the gold medal of service.
He was described by his family and friends as a classic gentleman, who loved the solitude and quiet of fly-fishing. He fervently believed in the value of literature and ideas. Banks was predeceased by his first wife Mary, whom he married in 1946. He is survived by his second wife, Ann, two sons, Christopher and Nicholas, and a daughter, Anthea.
[The Times Colonist 21 Dec 2002]