As I outlined previously AHPRA recently release updated advertising guidelines and added a new social media policy. These changes came into effect on 17th March 2014.
The changes to the advertising guidelines caused widespread outcry from health practitioners, due to the stance taken by AHPRA regarding patient reviews and testimonials. The updated guidelines effectively made it the practitioner’s responsibility to seek removal of reviews containing comment on clinical matters from all websites and social media, whether they are in their control or not.
I won’t go into the full details here, as I have covered this comprehensively already.
Regulated Health Practitioners have been understandably very upset about this new obligation, with many practitioners voicing their concerns via social media. The medical board attempted to ease concerns by issuing a media release stating (in part):
“The Board expects practitioners to take reasonable steps to remove testimonials they are using to advertise or promote regulated health services they provide, or when the testimonials are used by someone advertising the regulated services on their behalf. (This could be a third party who is advertising the services the practitioner provides at the practitioner’s request). But the Board recognises that practitioners are unable to control what is written about them in a public forum.”
Media coverage called this statement a backflip. However it failed to ease the concerns of may practitioners, as there was confusion about why AHPRA had not officially commented, where this left practitioners of other regulated health professions and were doctors to follow the revised guidelines, or the media statement.
I contacted AHPRA to seek clarification personally, however I received no response. Read More