29 May 2019
A Sydney company has been convicted of 10 charges related to advertising offences in a New South Wales local court following charges laid by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
The Running Clinic (Australia) Pty Ltd (formerly trading as the Heel Clinic), was yesterday convicted and fined for advertising offences under the National Law1. It was fined $30,600 and ordered to pay AHPRA’s costs of $8,000.
AHPRA filed 10 charges against the company. It alleged that advertising claims on The Running Clinic’s websites and Facebook account contained false, misleading and deceptive claims about podiatry services that were likely to create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment.
In sentencing, His Honour Magistrate Prowse commented that the company showed no remorse.
AHPRA first raised the unlawful advertising with the company in 2015 and, while minor changes were made, it failed to significantly rectify the issues.
AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher welcomed the court outcome.
‘Consumers have a right to expect that all registered health practitioners are truthful when advertising their services. This court outcome sends a clear message to anyone advertising a regulated health service that AHPRA will act if they break the law.’
Podiatry Board of Australia Chair Cylie Williams said ‘ensuring public safety and trust in services provided by podiatrists in Australia is at the heart of what we do. Our advertising guidelines are designed to help practitioners to do the right thing when advertising their services.’
Anyone who has concerns about a registered health practitioner can report this to AHPRA by calling 1300 419 495 or visiting the AHPRA website: www.ahpra.gov.au
1Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).