Survey Shows Trust in Healthcare Systems Declining Globally

Samantha DiGrande

The survey found that, for the United States specifically, in the informed public segment, there was a 20% drop in the general trust in healthcare, giving the United States market the second biggest drop following Colombia. Globally, trust declined in 16 of 28 markets studied, noting an average 4% decline in trust in healthcare globally.

Edelman has released the findings from the “Edelman’s Trust Barometer in Healthcare” survey. The online survey polled individuals from 28 global healthcare markets and had over 33,000 respondents. The survey was conducted between October 28, 2017 and November 20, 2017.

The report found that of the 28 markets that were polled, trust declined in 17 markets from 2017 to 2018. The survey classified respondents into 2 categories: the general online population, and the informed public. Participants earn the “informed public” distinction, a designation which represents 15% of the global population, by meeting 4 criteria: aged 25 to 64, college educated, in the top 25% of household income per age group in each market, and reported significant media consumption and engagement in business news.

The survey found that, for the United States specifically, in the informed public segment, there was a 20% drop in the general trust in healthcare, giving the United States market the second biggest drop following Colombia. Globally, trust declined in 16 of 28 markets studied, noting an average 4% decline in trust in healthcare globally.

In addition, global trust in the pharmaceutical industry remained unchanged, but several markets saw double-digit shifts. The survey found that, in 12 out of 28 markets polled, the pharmaceutical subsector is distrusted. Specifically, in the United States, the report noted that the trust in the pharmaceutical market dropped 13% between 2017 and 2018, largely due to the public’s placing blame on pharmaceutical companies for the high cost of drugs, as well as the aggressive marketing of opioids.

Conversely, the global trust in health insurance and hospitals saw an increase across all age groups worldwide. In hospitals and clinics specifically, trust has continued to increase, with 24 of 28 markets noting that their trust in these institutions rose. Globally, health insurance gained 1 percentage point on average, moving the market toward a perception of trustworthiness. However, due to uncertainty over the fate of the Affordable Care Act and ongoing debates over drug pricing, the United States posted a 9% decrease in trust in health insurers.