Private health care is provided by entities other than the government. These may include for-profit businesses, charitable and non-profit organizations, as well as individuals and families. The term is mainly used in countries which have publicly funded health care, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, to differentiate from systems where private healthcare is the norm, such as the United States of America.
There are ethical issues relating to private health care. The main argument is about the accessibility to health care based on the ability to afford it or not. Private health care can sometimes be more efficient than public health care. For example, private operators may be more innovative in areas such as telemedicine. Public health care tends to be limited by the amount of tax that individuals pay.
Private health care is financed by either out-of-pocket payments, which includes direct payment of costs by individuals and their families, or by private health insurance plans. This includes plans which individuals have purchased independently, as well as employer-based plans which individuals participate in through their workplaces.