Healthcare: UK healthcare seen as untrustworthy

The UK healthcare industry is seen as one of the most untrustworthy healthcare industries in the world, according to a damning new report.

Some 55 per cent of 1,000 people questioned agreed that they trust what they hear from healthcare companies and organisations in the UK. But only eight per cent of those 'strongly agreed' that they trusted what they heard.

The Edelman Health Engagement Barometer surveyed 5,000 adults aged 18-75, in five countries including China, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US.

Chinese healthcare companies were considered the most trustworthy with 72 per cent, followed by 58 per cent each for both Russia and the US. Germany came last, with 51 per cent stating they 'agreed' or 'strongly agreed'.

'The UK healthcare industry needs to engage more and work on its trust issues,' said Edelman director Richard Oakley.

'Consumers in the UK are more sceptical than in other countries where the level of trust is higher.'

The Edelman Health Engagement Barometer also found that more than half of adults in the UK were becoming more actively engaged in health issues.

One in three people felt that conversing with their doctor was more important now than it used to be, and more than a quarter felt that resources such as Google and health portals were more important health sources than before.

'The results show that many health companies, including the pharmaceutical industry, must be braver in their communications with the health-engaged community,' said Edelman head of health for Europe Mike Kan.

'While regulatory and resource constraints are very real, there is scope for companies to further prioritise engagement and build trust to secure continued permission to operate,' added Kan.

The survey also highlighted that a high proportion of people frequently read or gathered information on health (41 per cent a week or more) or shared information about health with others (38 per cent a week or more).

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