29 Jul 2016
On Thursday 28 July 2016, leaders in regulation, consumer protection, professional education, public health, the chiropractic profession, and insurance came together at an Advertising Forum in Melbourne to share their perspectives on advertising by chiropractors.
The forum was hosted by the Chiropractic Board of Australia (the Board) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with an independent facilitator. More than 40 invited guests from across the country participated. The goal was to gain a deeper understanding of views and issues associated with advertising by chiropractors, and by extension other health professions, and to consider how different stakeholders could work together to improve the quality of advertising by chiropractors.
The responsible provision of information by registered chiropractors to consumers, how consumers understand and use health information and how chiropractic advertising may support good healthcare decision-making by consumers was an important foundation for the discussion.
The forum also provided an opportunity to outline how the National Law works and the program of work underway by the Board and AHPRA to address a large number of advertising complaints which have been received.1
Participants agreed there is a problem with some chiropractic advertising that must continue to be addressed. While it was acknowledged that most chiropractors do wish to meet their advertising obligations under the National Law, the quality of advertising by some chiropractors must be improved so it does not mislead people.
The role of professional associations and others in providing advisory services to chiropractors on appropriate advertising content was recognised as a key strategy. Also, there was considerable support for ensuring only evidence-based continuing professional development content is recognised by the profession and regulators. Participants agreed action is required on multiple fronts including continuing regulatory action, awareness raising, education and culture change within the profession.
Other strategies for improvement will be considered by the Chiropractic Board of Australia and AHPRA in collaboration with chiropractic professional bodies, and with consumer input. The experience in other sectors of regulation provided some relevant examples of strategies which will also be considered.
More information will be posted on the Chiropractic Board’s website.
The Board and AHPRA would like to acknowledge and thank the participants whose attendance, support and input was critical to the successful outcomes from this forum.
1Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (National Law)