Public health care is financed from a publicly managed fund to meet the cost of all or most health care needs. Public health care provides access to the whole population contributing to the fund or receiving benefits from it. When taxation is the primary method of financing health care, all eligible people receive the same level of cover regardless of their financial circumstances or risk factors.
Countries that have a publicly funded health care system also often have a parallel private system for patients who hold private medical insurance or who pay for treatment themselves. Those who can afford it have access to treatment and comforts that may not be available to others.
Public health insurance plans represent a significant aspect of the public sector financing. Many countries have mandatory health insurance plans to cover basic medical services. Public health insurance is not completely comprehensive in its coverage, it tends to cover only basic or medically necessary services. This includes most primary and secondary care services such as visits to the family physician and specialized hospital care.