Comparison between the U.S. and UK Healthcare Systems

Comparison between the U.S. and UK Healthcare Systems

The U.S. and UK healthcare systems differ in structure and access. The U.S. has a multi-payer system, unlike UK with a single-payer. Under a multi-payer system, multiple entities, including insurance companies and the government, collect funds and pay for healthcare services on behalf of citizens (Childers, 2016). In contrast, the government is the single-payer in the UK. Therefore, healthcare institutions do not demand upfront payment before attending to patients since everyone is entitled to comprehensive coverage irrespective of their ability to pay for the services rendered, however costly (Childers, 2016). Nevertheless, the government imposes higher taxes to meet healthcare costs, which means that citizens pay for healthcare indirectly. Similarly, access to healthcare is higher in the UK than in the U.S. These differences can be attributed to multiple factors. Notably, the U.S. has many uninsured citizens than the UK (Childers, 2016). In addition, out-of-the-pocket costs deter many U.S. residents from seeking healthcare (Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, n.d.). Hence, the U.S. and UK healthcare systems are structured differently, and accessibility to healthcare services varies.

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Advocacy and Politics Interventions that can be done by Advanced Practice Nurses to Improve the US Health System

Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) can improve healthcare systems by joining a professional nursing organization, collaborating with state representatives, or running for public offices. Professional nursing organizations enable APNs to influence policy change at state and federal levels. Lobbyists are part of the stakeholders in these organizations. They introduce nursing issues and seek the support of nurses. Ultimately, the team can influence legislators to pass relevant bills to correct the issues raised. In addition, nurses can recommend specific healthcare reforms and send them to their state representatives as proposals (Milstead, 2016). Some nurses may also run for public offices, positions that enable them to push for healthcare reforms conveniently (Mason, Leavitt, & Chaffee, 2016). For example, Representative Lauren Underwood doubles up as a freshman Congresswoman and a nurse from Illinois. She uses her expertise in lawmaking to influence nursing-related policies in Congress. Therefore, APNs can influence policy change individually or as a groups.


Childers, C. (2016, April 26). US and UK health system comparison. [Video]. YouTube.

Mason, D. J., Leavitt, J.K., & Chaffee, M.W. (2016). Policy and politics in nursing and health care. (7th ed.) Elsevier.

Milstead, A. J. (2016). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide. (7th. Ed). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker. (n.d.). Access & affordability.

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Edited by Aymee Morales Aranegui on Sep 14, 2021, 8:56:30 PM