Differences Between A Primary Healthcare System And An “Illness Care” System


Getting Started

This discussion will focus on access to health care and the difference between a primary healthcare system, and an “illness care” system. In addition, we will focus on patient advocacy. In order to be advocates, we need to have a clear picture of what we want to see happen. How could healthcare reforms affect the future of healthcare? How do nursing organizations view the role of the professional nurse within the context of healthcare reform? How can you advocate for quality healthcare in your current area of nursing? Nurses can be the advocates for positive, quality outcomes by initiating core measures and ensuring that all aspects of a client’s care is safe and effective.

Nurses need to play an important role in the writing of healthcare policies and laws, especially advocating for those who cannot stand up for themselves.  As a profession, nurses need to unite and be heard as one strong voice.  Start in your own community.  Take a close look at things that need change.

Within this discussion, you should begin thinking about what can be done to improve the health of your own community.  To be a world changer, you do not need to do a miraculous thing; you just need to do something.  It can be something very small and very inexpensive, but it can have a huge impact on those around you, and on the world.  You will have an opportunity to explore the concept of being a world changer and your role as a nurse in Workshop Seven.

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Explain the concept of primary health care and its impact on national and international health.
  • Discuss how nurses can impact healthcare reform within our society.
  • Project a preferred future of what health care could look like in 2065.


  • Textbook: Professional Nursing: Concepts and Challenges
  • File: Professional Nursing: Concepts and Challenges reference list
  • Article: Barnett, R., & Barnett, P. (2004). Primary health care in New Zealand: Problems and policy approaches.
  • Article: De Maeseneer, J., Moosa, S., Pongsupap, Y., & Kaufman, A. (2008). Primary health care in a changing world.
  • Article: Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health.
  • Article: Keleher, H., Parker, R. & Francis K. (2010) Preparing nurses for primary health care futures: How well do Australian nursing courses perform?
  • Article: Montgomery, T. M. (2012). Healthcare and politics: Making your voice heard.
  • Media:  Universal Health Care
  • Website: American Nurses Association. (2011). ANA, CMA, and OA activities reflected in the IOM recommendations.
  • Website: University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine. (2011). Definition of primary health care.
  • Website: World Health Organization. (1978). Declaration of Alma-Ata.
  • Website: World Health Organization. (2008). Primary health care in action: France.
  • Website: World Health Organization. (2008). Primary health care in action: New Zealand.

Background Information

A variety of people make the rules that govern nursing practice; unfortunately, few of those rule-makers are nurses. When you understand how the government works and how laws are made, you have a better understanding of why your voice is so important. Economics, societal needs, and cultural needs drive the way laws and policies are written. The way money is spent, especially in public health, and the way decisions are made affect social determinants of health and the health disparity in your community. Each public health department has a chance to use the money for a specific sector in their community. Generally, the mayor or the town council determines how public health funds are used. Nurses must go to the city meetings and plead their case for the correct use of funding. This is one example of why you need to know how government works and about your community.

In this assignment, you will read about primary healthcare systems that reach the entire community in various third world countries. Many countries have unskilled, but educated individuals who work as health educators. They focus on health promotion and illness prevention. In the United States, for years our focus has been on disease management (secondary healthcare) rather than disease prevention (primary healthcare). You are encouraged to use your imagination as you consider how we can help facilitate a preferred future for nursing in our country.


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook, Professional Nursing: Concepts and Challenges, read Chapter 14, “Health Care in the United States.”
  3. Review at least three of the resources listed above—articles, media, and/or websites.
  4. Prepare to discuss the following prompts:
    1. Based on your experience within the healthcare system as a nurse, as a patient, and/or as a family member, share your thoughts about the effectiveness of the current healthcare delivery system. Provide examples to demonstrate your thoughts about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the current system.
    2. Discuss: Choose a country that currently uses primary healthcare. Provide a synopsis of their healthcare system. Does it work for all citizens? What are the good points? What are the bad points? Would this healthcare system work in the United States? What would change with regard to the care that nurses currently provide?  Why?
    3. Based on your readings, share your thoughts about what health care could look like in 2065. What would an ideal healthcare system include? Where would the money come from to pay for health care? What do you see as the role of the nurse in the preferred future for health care? How can health care get to that point?
  5. Research and select at least two current scholarly sources to support your explanations and insights. OCLS resources are preferred sources and can be accessed through the school. Wikipedia is not permitted, as it is not a peer-reviewed, scholarly source.

Your initial post should include four paragraphs and two sources correctly cited and referenced, to support your information.

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