Responsible advertising reminder

AHPRA and the National Boards have reminded health professionals about their legal obligations regarding advertising

AHPRA says registered practitioners need to check, correct and comply with their professional and legal advertising obligations.

It and the Boards have published a strategy for the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, which explains how they will manage advertising complaints and compliance, including the regulatory powers available to deal with breaches.

“The National Law limits how regulated health services can be advertised. It is a professional obligation for registered health practitioners to advertise responsibly and support members of the community to make informed choices about their healthcare,” said AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher.

“I expect that implementation of this strategy will further improve how regulated health services are advertised so that healthcare consumers are better informed.

“When preparing their advertising, a health practitioner should always put the consumer first and ensure that their advertising is not false, misleading or deceptive in any way,” Mr Fletcher said.

This strategy builds on the previous education and enforcement work from National Boards and AHPRA and will be supported by publishing new materials in the coming weeks to help health practitioners understand their advertising obligations legally and professionally.

“We recognise that most health practitioners want to comply with the law and their professional obligations, and we aim to make compliance as easy as possible,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We will continue to provide information to practitioners and their professional organisations to help them understand their advertising obligations.”

Under the National Law, a regulated health service or a business providing a regulated health service must not advertise in a way that:

  • is false, misleading or deceptive;
  • uses gifts, discounts or inducements without explaining the terms and conditions of the offer;
  • uses a testimonial or a purported testimonial;
  • creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, and/or
  • directly or indirectly encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services.

There are also restrictions on advertising in a way that identifies a health practitioner as a specialist when they do not hold registration as a specialist or as an endorsed practitioner in a health profession.

More information is available here.

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