Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia - Advertising a regulated health service
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Advertising a regulated health service

The National Law establishes requirements for advertising a regulated health service. These requirements are important for public protection and help to ensure the public receives accurate and honest information about healthcare services. Unlawful advertising may compromise the healthcare choices of the public.

If you are advertising a regulated health service1, your advertising must not:

  • be false, misleading or deceptive, or likely to be misleading or deceptive
  • offer a gift, discount or other inducement, unless the terms and conditions of the offer are also stated
  • use testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business
  • create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, or
  • directly or indirectly encourage the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services.

The Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service have been developed to help registered health practitioners and other advertisers understand their obligations when advertising a regulated health service. 

Increased maximum penalty for advertising offences

In 2022, the National Law was amended and one of the changes was to increase the maximum penalty for advertising offences. For an individual, the maximum financial penalty per offence increased from $5,000 to $60,000, and for a body corporate the maximum financial penalty per offence increased from $10,000 to $120,000. The process for managing advertising breaches under the National Law is set out in section 1.3 of the guidelines.

In Western Australia the maximum penalty for advertising offences has not increased and different penalties apply.

The advertising guidelines will be updated to include the changes when the advertising guidelines are next reviewed.

Check and correct your advertising

Not sure you are meeting your obligations? Have you been contacted by Ahpra about your advertising? Follow these steps to make sure you comply with your professional and legal obligations.

  • Check all your advertising against the requirements of the National Law and identify any content or claims that do not meet these requirements.
  • Correct any content that does not meet the National Law (explained in our advertising guidelines common to all National Boards).
  • Consider seeking advice from your insurer, legal adviser or professional association if you’re still not sure that you comply with the National Law.

Resources to help you

This information is to help you check and correct your advertising to comply with the National Law. It is for guidance only and does not replace independent legal advice. Advertising resources can be found on the Ahpra website in the Advertising hub

Further information

1A regulated health service means a service provided by, or usually provided by, a health practitioner (as defined in the National Law).
Page reviewed 27/07/2023