Ethical matters

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Pharmacy continues to poll well in rating of ethical behaviour, though GPs still slightly more highly regarded

Pharmacy has maintained a high ethical trust rating in a survey of ethics across a range of industries and professions.

However GPs and nurses continued to sit above pharmacy in public trust perception according to the findings, from the Governance Institute’s Ethical Index 2018. 

Pharmacists gained an ethical rating of 76 in a listing of those professions/institutions people had personal contact with. This was up 1 from the 2017 iteration of the survey, and placed pharmacists behind only doctors (rating 80), and ahead of local hospitals (73).

Federal MPs and local councillors were at the bottom of the list, with an average rating of 3 for both groups. 

In total, 45% of respondents rated pharmacists as ‘very ethical’, another 36% said they were ‘somewhat ethical’, 13% were neutral, while 4% regarded the profession as being ‘somewhat unethical’ and 1% said they were ‘unethical’.

When looking at perceived ethics across health care professions, pharmacy continued to rate well, although below three other HCPs.

  • Nurses 84%
  • GPs 77%
  • Veterinarians 77%
  • Pharmacists 74%
  • Dentists 66%
  • Ancillary service providers 62%

The Australian Medical Association topped the list as the most ethical member association. No pharmacy grouping was included in this particular list.

The third annual Governance Institute Ethics Index studied Australians’ attitudes and perceptions of ethics across a variety of organisations, occupations and situations. The research was conducted between 25 May and 7 June 2018. 

The sample size of around 1,000 was drawn from across the country and spans the political spectrum, the Institute said. 


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