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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 13:44 GMT
Public still trust doctors
Dr Ian Bogle
Doctors are held in high public esteem
The public's trust in doctors has risen over the past year, a survey has found.

The MORI poll found that 91% of people thought that doctors tell the truth - making them the most trusted of all professions.

These findings show the rock on which the trust between doctors and their patients is built

Dr Ian Bogle
Just six out of every 100 people surveyed said they did not trust doctors to be honest.

Last year a similar poll found that 89% of people rated doctors as trustworthy.

The survey, which comes after a series of high profile scandals have rocked the reputation the medical profession, also found that 91% of people were very or fairly satisfied with the job that doctors do.

Solid ground

Dr Ian Bogle
Dr Ian Bogle stressed doctors were not complacent
Dr Ian Bogle, chairman of the British Medical Association's Council, said: "These findings show the rock on which the trust between doctors and their patients is built.

"The public's trust in doctors is now at its highest level for almost 20 years, despite numerous recent stories that might have undermined patients' faith in medical care.

"The public is obviously able to peel away the sensationalism that often surrounds debate on health, and is able to put stories in perspective."

However, Dr Bogle stressed that doctors were not complacent about their standing in society.

"We know that trust has to be earned. That is why we have been leading changes to the way our profession is regulated, and why we will always be willing to consider further ways in which we can maintain the public's trust in us."

The poll also found that:

  • 61% of people thought that doctors spent too much time on paperwork and not enough time seeing patients
  • 84% of people would be happy to see a pharmacist instead of their GP to repeat an existing prescription, if necessary
  • 87% of people would be happy to be seen by a nurse rather than a doctor, if their conditions were not serious
The MORI survey is based on interviews with 1,972 people.

See also:

22 Mar 01 | Health
Doctors 'still trusted by public'
15 Feb 01 | Health
Complaints about doctors soar
18 Oct 01 | Health
Public 'fear for NHS'
23 Nov 01 | Health
Doctors urged to 'end arrogance'
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