Placing Trust at the Heart of Health Policy and Systems

Document Type : Editorial


1 Department of Health Services Research and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK

2 Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, World Health Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark


Trusted interactions are crucial in health systems. Trust facilitates effective healthcare by encouraging patients to seek and adhere to treatment, enabling teamwork among health professionals, reducing miscommunication and medical errors, and fostering innovation and resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of trust, highlighting the challenges in establishing and maintaining it, especially during crises when trust in authorities and health systems is vital for compliance and safety. However, trust is complex, varying with context and experiences, and is dynamic, easily lost but hard to regain. Despite its importance, trust is often overlooked in health policy and difficult to measure. Health systems and policy-makers must recognize the importance of trust, measure it effectively, understand how it is built or eroded, and act to maintain and restore it. This involves acknowledging the past experiences of marginalized groups, involving communities in decision-making, and ensuring transparency and integrity in health practices and policies.


Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 09 April 2024
  • Receive Date: 03 January 2024
  • Revise Date: 07 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 08 April 2024
  • First Publish Date: 09 April 2024