Medicare is the unofficial name for Canada's publicly funded universal health insurance system. The formal terminology for the insurance system is provided by the Canada Health Act and the health insurance legislation of the individual provinces and territories.
Under the terms of the Canada Health Act, all "insured persons" are entitled to receive "insured services" without copayment. Such services are defined as medically necessary services if provided in hospital, or by 'practitioners'. Approximately 70% of Canadian health expenditures come from public sources, with the rest paid privately. The extent of public financing varies considerably across services. For example, approximately 99% of physician services, and 90% of hospital care, are paid by publicly funded sources, whereas almost all dental care is paid for privately. Most physicians are self-employed private entities which enjoy coverage under each province's respective healthcare plans.
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