Section 133 of the National Law states that a person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
The Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service further explain the advertising requirements of the National Law.
The Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who advertise cosmetic surgery explain the requirements for medical practitioners when advertising cosmetic surgery.
Advertising breaches of the National Law may be prosecuted, and a court may order advertisers to pay a penalty for each offence which breaches the National Law1. The financial penalties are for:
If an advertising breach involves unlawful use of a protected title (see Appendix 2 of the guidelines) this is also an offence under the National Law for which penalties can apply.2 The maximum penalties are for:
Other consequences may apply when a registered health practitioner breaches the advertising requirements of the National Law or breaches other applicable legislation. A National Board may decide these breaches raise concern about the practitioner’s conduct and take action which may include placing conditions on a health practitioner’s registration.
Check advertising complaints for more information about how National Boards and Ahpra manage complaints about advertising.
In addition to meeting the advertising requirements of the National Law, advertisers must comply with other applicable legislation. For more information, check:
National Boards enforce the National Law. They do not enforce the legislation of other government departments or agencies, such as therapeutic goods legislation or drugs and poisons legislation. However, a breach of other legislation may form the basis for disciplinary action under the National Law.
1.In 2022, the National Law was amended and one of the changes was to increase the maximum penalty for advertising offences. The Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service will be updated to include these changes when they are next reviewed. In Western Australia different penalties apply. In the case of an individual, the maximum penalty is $5,000, or in the case of a body corporate $10,000.
2. In Western Australia different penalties apply. In the case of an individual the maximum penalty is $30,000, or in the case of a body corporate $60,000.