The general public continues to have much more faith in physicians than they do in other professionals, such as judges, politicians, journalists, lawyers, teachers and computer specialists, according to a representative poll by Geocartography commissioned by the Israel Medical Association (IMA).
A poll of 500 adults showed that since the last survey seven years ago, belief in the reliability of doctors remained stable and high – at 86 percent (compared to 88% in 2007) – with lower figures for teachers (79%, down from 73%); computer experts (71%, down from 77%); judges (65%, down from 72%); lawyers (37%, down from 38%); journalists (up from 20% in 2007 to 30%); and politicians (9% now and then).
The survey, conducted by Prof. Avi Degani and Dr. Rina Degani, had a plus-or-minus 4.4% sampling error.
Israelis continue to complain about queues at medical facilities, but instead of blaming primarily the physician, they point to the health fund (38%), the health ministry (15%) and the government (14%), with only 8% blaming clinic doctors and 1% the patients themselves.
IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman commented that the “image of physicians in this country reflects the large amount of trust with which patients regard them, their professionalism and their devotion.”
Physicians chose their profession mostly to help people and to save lives, according to 44% of those polled, while 33% said it was for prestige and/or to make money; 6% answered that it was for both reasons. Seventy-one percent said their family physicians cared a great deal about their patients, while a quarter said they did not care much or at all.
Among the 21% of respondents who did not receive drugs or medical referrals they needed, 36% pointed a finger at the health insurer, 19% at the health ministry, 12% at clinic doctors and 10% at the government.
Those surveyed paid little attention to publications that criticized doctors’ functioning, questioning the credibility of such articles.
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