Avant has welcomed the release of
updated advertising guidelines which provide members with clearer rules on the
use of online testimonials to advertise regulated health services in response to
confusion from doctors struggling to determine their obligations.
Medical Board of Australia decided to change a controversial section in the
previous advertising guidelines, which were originally released in March, to
clear up confusion about the use of testimonials.
Released by the
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the new advertising
guidelines which came into effect on 20 May 2014, clarify that the use of
testimonials are prohibited when advertising a regulated health service under
the National Law.
Georgie Haysom, Head of Advocacy, Avant, welcomed the
updated advertising guidelines which doctors can now refer to for clear guidance
on the use of testimonials associated with clinical services.
guidelines clarify that testimonials are prohibited in advertising regulated
health services including on practitioner’s own Facebook pages or websites, in
print, radio or television advertisements, and on social media,” she said.
However, the guidelines have reiterated that practitioners are not
responsible for the removal of unsolicited testimonials published on a website
or in social media over which they do not have control.
still share views through consumer and patient’s information sharing websites
that invite public feedback/reviews about experience of a practitioner,
business, and/or service, the guidelines note.
Practitioners can provide
feedback related to any concerns they may have on the ban on use of testimonials
in advertising a regulated health service under the national Law under the terms of
reference for the scheduled three-year review of the National Registration
and Accreditation Scheme.
More information is available on the AHMAC
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