29 Nov 2017
Stakeholders interested in how regulated health services are advertised have met to discuss how to advertise responsibly and comply with the National Law1 advertising requirements.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and National Boards held a successful multi-profession stakeholder forum in Melbourne on 9 August 2017.
The forum focussed on the topic of responsible advertising in healthcare and followed a successful forum hosted by the Chiropractic Board of Australia and AHPRA in July 2016.
Since then there have been significant changes in how National Boards and AHPRA deal with false, misleading or deceptive advertising and now much of the conversation has shifted to how we can proactively better protect the public.
How AHPRA and National Boards aim to achieve responsible advertising in healthcare is set out in the Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme2.
The forum provided information about new developments involving the broader Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy including the practical resources that have been developed to support people to comply with advertising obligations. Stakeholders also debated current issues with representatives from consumer organisations, professional associations, insurers and other regulators, in addition to Board members and AHPRA staff.
Discussions focussed on how to support those advertising regulated health services to comply, broadening the discussion across the National Scheme about achieving responsible advertising by all registered health practitioners and building on work to support informed healthcare choices by consumers. Importantly, participants also heard from stakeholders about their early experiences with the advertising strategy and explored areas for future work, including collaboration with stakeholders to support responsible advertising practices.
The online media landscape has changed how healthcare providers and practitioners advertise. This can improve how we educate patients and engage them in their growing role as healthcare consumers, so they can make informed choices about their own healthcare. But debate exists about how to present advertising in responsible and ethical ways and the value of the information consumers are receiving in advertising.
A number of resources from the forum are now available for practitioners and stakeholders to help them advertise responsibly, including a highlight video from the day and full videos of presenters and panel discussions, as well as a full report of the day.
1The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).
2National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).