AHPRA guidelines for advertising health services

With the proliferation of advertising generally, including via social media, advertising for health services is more widespread than it has ever been. Not surprisingly, the content of advertising of medical services is now subject to a degree of control and regulation.

The advertising of regulated health services falls under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, precluding advertising which is:
  • False, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be so
  • Offers a gift, discount or other inducement to attract a person to use the service, unless the terms and conditions are stated in the advertising 
  • Uses testimonials or purported testimonials
  • Creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment
  • Directly or indirectly encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services.
Breaches of these legal requirements could lead to fines or penalties, or to disciplinary action, such as restricting practice, or requiring further education or auditing.

AHPRA has various publications to assist practitioners to understand their responsibilities, including what is and what is not permissible:
  • Guidelines for Advertising of Regulated Health Services is a detailed resource on advertising requirements – you should take the time to familiarise yourself with them before engaging in any advertising – it gives guidance around permissible advertising, and examples of prohibited advertising
  • FAQ: Advertising provides further information on issues such as what is a testimonial, clarifying your responsibility for what your patients say and using terms such as ‘specialist’
  • Further information on advertising therapeutic claims provides information on how regulators assess whether there is sufficient evidence to support therapeutic claims, using examples, and the use of specific words and phrases
  • Social Media Policy provides guidance on your professional obligations when using social media, including for advertising.

Insurance policies are issued by Medical Insurance Australia Pty Ltd.  MIGA has not taken into account your personal objectives or situation.  Before you make any decisions about our policies, please review the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (which can be found here) and consider your own needs.