Australians name GPs as their most ethical professionals

Doug Hendrie

15/11/2019 1:59:47 PM

In a national survey, general practice beat out pharmacies and hospitals for the most ethical profession with which Australians are in close contact.

GP and patient
The vital role GPs play in their patients’ lives has been recognised in a new survey.

In that category, GPs had a net positive ethical score of 82% in the Governance Institute’s Ethics Index 2019 survey, with pharmacies and hospitals close behind at 80% and 77%, respectively.
Almost half of all survey participants (49%) ranked GPs as ‘very ethical’ and one-third chose ‘somewhat ethical’.
By contrast, federal politicians ranked lowest, with a net positive rank of 39%.
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon hailed the survey as good news for the profession.
‘GPs should be very pleased that their patients have once again voted them the most ethical profession they have personal contact with,’ he told newsGP.
‘This survey testifies to the vital role GPs play in the lives of their patients as trusted professionals who will care for them long-term.’
Undertaken by Ipsos on behalf of the Governance Institute, the annual survey of Australians aged 18–65 asks participants to rank professionals and organisations from ‘very unethical’ to ‘very ethical’ in response to a number of questions. 
Ethical behaviour in health is the most important sector, the survey found, followed by the public service, education and government.
The survey found the actual level of ethical behaviour across the health sector was broadly positive, with a net positive ethical ranking of 76%.
Health was voted the most ethical sector, followed by education.
Nurses narrowly pipped GPs on ethical behaviour across the health occupations, with an 82% positive score compared to 78% for GPs.
As a sector, public hospitals had a net positive score of 69%, with private hospitals coming in at 60%.
When all occupations in the survey were compared, ambulance services, nurses, and firefighters were deemed most ethical, with GPs tying with veterinarians and primary school teachers in fourth place.

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