And so the AHPRA Action came to an end this week. The Medical Board announced on Wednesday it would work with the other Boards to change the advertising guidelines.
The media statement: “(…) practitioners are not responsible for removing (or trying to have removed) unsolicited testimonials published on a website or in social media over which they do NOT have control.”
Hats of to the Medical Board and AHPRA for listening to the feedback. I have learned three things:
#1: We now all know the rules
The media attention and focus on the law and advertising guidelines has made the road rules clearer than ever. Testimonials mentioning clinical care & used in advertising are out, and unsolicited comments including thank-you’s are in. Of course we will have to wait for the final revision, but it seems we all know where we stand.
#2: Consumers and health care professions united
The controversial advertising guidelines united not only health professions, but also consumers and professionals. This should happen more often. Some have already raised ideas to bring the health care social media community together on a more structural basis – watch this space.
#3: Big government should involve stakeholders
Consumer health advocate Anne Cahill Lambert noticed that AHPRA had not received consumer submissions during the guidelines revision. In this Crickey Blog she wrote: “Genuine consumer participation is sometimes difficult. But it should not be dismissed out of hand because of its difficulty.”
AHPRA has already started engaging and listening via Twitter. Here’s hoping that AHPRA will genuinely engage all stakeholders during future guidelines and policy revisions – without further increases in registration fees of course.