A total of 87 per cent of UK GPs described her performance as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.
This was worse than her counterparts in France, Italy and Spain, but better than in Germany, where 94 per cent of GPs thought leading health minister Ulla Schmidt was performing poorly or very poorly.
Ms Hewitt’s unpopularity contrasts with the UK position two years ago (see graph). Then, health secretary John Reid was said to be doing a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ job by 32 per cent of UK GPs (GP, 21 January 2005).
A DoH spokesman said: ‘In this challenging year, patients, not popularity, must come first.’
Asked what sort of job the government was doing, GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to look at the recent problems with the NHS.’