UK VS The US: A Better Place To Work As A Healthcare Professional?

In the US, foreign workers contributed to 15.5% of the nursing workforce as of 2018, the majority coming from parts of Asia. 

Out of the 14.7 million workers employed in healthcare occupations in 2018, an estimated 2.6 million (18%) were foreign-born. 


As per the data, till March 2021, an estimated 190,000 out of 1.35 million staff have a non-British nationality. Over 70,000 (5.4%) of NHS staff in England are EU nationals, and over 75,000 (5.8%) have Asian nationality.


Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and qualified professionals are needed everywhere for the proper functioning of the industry.


Healthcare professionals often immigrate to another country for better career prospects, and the US and UK offer lucrative opportunities to medical professionals. 


The need for qualified professionals existed even in the pre-covid times; however, it has increased exponentially in the ongoing pandemic era. In addition, the healthcare industry struggles to keep pace with the flow of patients during any emergency. 


The US and the UK are both developed countries with streamlined and widespread healthcare systems that compensate professionals per industry standards.


In today’s blog, we’ll put forth some facts, delve deeper and understand which place is best for healthcare professionals to migrate to in terms of career aspects.

But before that, let’s throw some light on what makes healthcare professionals look for opportunities outside their motherland.

Why Do Skilled Healthcare Professionals Migrate?


Healthcare professionals often migrate to foreign countries in search of better career opportunities. The US and the UK healthcare sector is in dire need of qualified professionals, and since they do not have a sufficient workforce to fill the gap, they hire workers from around the world.



Let’s understand the push and pull factors that encourage skilled professionals to migrate.


Push Factors

  • Limited career opportunities
  • Poor remuneration
  • Poor working conditions
  • Political instability


Pull Factors

  • Career advancement 
  • Financial rewards
  • Better work environment


The UK vs the US: A brief comparison


The US and UK offer world-class infrastructure and the latest technology to healthcare workers to perform their duties. 

The US

The US healthcare industry is rising fast. According to a WHO survey, the US healthcare system ranks number one in responsiveness. As per the data, the spending accounted for over 19.7% of GDP in 2020.


Doctors in the US are well paid and have access to some of the most up-to-date remedies. On average, primary care practitioners in the US earn $297K, while specialists make $357K. 


As per the BLS study, the average registered nurse salary in the United States is $82,750, whereas California offers the highest compensation for nurses averaging $124,000.


Apart from good compensation, working in the US also comes with many benefits for healthcare professionals, such as medical and dental insurance, paid leaves, and an employee assistance program, among many others.


The UK

The UK’s health care system is one of the most efficient in the world. In addition, the United Kingdom spends 11.9% of its GDP on health services


The specialist doctor in the UK earns a basic salary between £50,373 to £78,759, whereas a specialist grade doctor takes home anywhere between £80,693 to £91,584.


Additionally, according to the Royal College of Nursing, the average annual wage of an NHS nurse is £33,384. In addition, NHS nurses get various benefits such as a guaranteed long-term contract, manageable work hours, competitive salary, paid holidays, paid training, on-site accommodation for a few months and free flights for new overseas NHS nurses.


The US is known to have the largest private healthcare system, whereas the UK has one of the largest public healthcare systems.


Both the US and UK have developed economies with a special focus on healthcare infrastructure. Moreover, with growing medical tourism, patients are increasingly opting for these nations to receive quality care. Hence, with an increased number of patients, the healthcare facilities would eventually require qualified and talented professionals to look after their needs.



The US and UK healthcare systems are poles apart and have their own strong points. However, it is up to the professionals to choose which country they wish to be a part of to further their careers.


If you are an aspiring healthcare professional who wants to move to the US or the UK for career advancement, then IFANglobal can assist you.


We tap into the diverse healthcare talent globally and assist healthcare institutions in the US and the UK find a talented workforce.


Additionally, IFANglobal’s unique program, ‘Get Me Wings,’ trains nurses for better job performance, eventually benefiting healthcare facilities.


Connect with us today, and soar to new heights in your career.

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