Who is most ethical?


Pharmacists second most ethical among those with whom Australians have personal contact, sitting just behind GPs

A survey of more than 1,000 Australians reveals pharmacists are perceived to be among the most ethical people in the country.

GPs were the highest scoring in ethical behaviour of professionals with whom Australians have had personal contact, followed by pharmacists, according to the Governance Institute Ethics Index 2019.

This was followed by the nearest local hospital, police, and accountants.

Pharmacists also featured in the top 10 occupations for most ethical behaviour, however their net score dropped slightly from 74 last year to 68.

GPs’ score also dropped from 77 to 73.

The full top 10 list for most ethical occupations was:

  1. Ambulance services (net score 83%)
  2. Nurses (78%)
  3. Fire services (78%)
  4. GPs (73%)
  5. Veterinarians (70%)
  6. Primary school teachers (69%)
  7. Pharmacists (68%)
  8. Secondary school teachers (66%)
  9. Dentists (61%)
  10. Ancillary service providers (61%)

Meanwhile the bottom 10 occupations for ethical behaviour included lawyers, politicians (local, state and Federal), aged-care directors, real estate agents and funds managers.

The health sector scored highest overall across a wide range of sectors, including education, charities and not-for-profits, government, media and banking.

However it’s score dropped from 74% in 2018 to 67% this year.

Within the health sector, pharmaceutical companies scored poorly with a net score of just one (ethical net score 38%, unethical net score 37%).

However this is an improvement from last year when pharma companies scored -10%.

The three lowest-scoring sectors for 2019 were large corporations (-10%, up from -15% in 2018), media (-14%, up from -25%) and banking, finance and insurance (-18%, up from -27%).

The Ethics Index 2019 survey was conducted online across a broad spectrum of Australians (to nationally representative age, gender and location quotas by ABS census data) between 9-21 October 2019.

See the full results here

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