The term medicare
(in lower case) (assurance-maladie
) refers to Canada
's well-known universal public health insurance system. Under the terms of the Canada Health Act
, the provinces
provide all residents with health insurance cards, which entitle the bearer to receive free medical care for almost all procedures. Patients are free to choose their own doctor, hospital, etc. Health institutions are either private and not-for-profit (such as university hospitals) or state-run (such as Quebec
system), and doctors in private practice are entrepreneurs who bill the medicare system for their fees.