Ahpra - Enforce Your Advertising Requirements for Regulated Health Services

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) helps protect the public by setting and enforcing standards and policies that all Australian registered health practitioners must meet. One area where circumcision clinics are operating outside of these policies is around the provision of misleading advertising. We call on Ahpra to take action against circumcision clinics for false, misleading and other advertising breaches under Section 133 of the National Law.

What constitutes misleading advertising, and how do circumcision clinics flout the rules?

Ahpra sets out the legislation, guidelines, penalties and their policies around misleading advertising on this webpage. The key restrictions under the relevant legislation, and a summary of how clinics flout these restrictions is provided below.

A person must not advertise a regulated health service or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that:

- is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be misleading or deceptive.

Many clinics use statistics from cherry picked, outdated, non-evidence based and non-peered reviewed studies to mislead clients on the purported benefits. Almost all of them do not even quote the source – another requirement from Ahpra.

- offers a gift, discount or other inducement to attract a person to use the service or the business, unless the advertisement also states the terms and conditions of the offer

We have not yet observed any circumcision clinics offering gifts or other inducements.

- uses testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business

We have found many circumcision clinics that use testimonials on their websites.

- creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment

All of the purported benefits advertised by circumcision clinics in relation to infant circumcision on healthy children, given that any purported benefits are unsubstantiated and often highly disputed by government medical authorities.

- directly or indirectly encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services

All promotion of the procedure itself, aside from a treatment of last resort for an existing issue falls under this category. Specifically, many clinics try to persuade clients to get it done now with false statistics around the medical requirement for circumcision later in life.

Let us know!

Have you seen a circumcision clinic that advertises in a misleading way? Send us the details by clicking the button below.

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