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Advertising guidelines for practitioners

In the modern attention-economy, marketing has reality for any practitioner involved in running a sustainable practice. However, we urge professionals to stay within ethical boundaries when trying to acquire patients to make use of their services. The HPCSA provides guidelines that assist the practitioners on best practice:

  • A practitioner shall be allowed to advertise his/her services or permit, sanction or acquiesce to such advertisement: Provided that the advertisement is not unprofessional, untruthful, deceptive or misleading or causes consumers unwarranted anxiety that may be suffering from any health condition; and
  • A practitioner shall not canvas or tout or allow canvassing or touting to be done for patients on his/her behalf. For the sake of clarity Council regards:
    • Canvassing is a conduct by a practitioner which draws attention, either verbally or by means of printed or electronic media, to one’s personal qualities, superior knowledge, quality of service, professional guarantees or best practice. For example, “I am the best Physiotherapist in town.”
    • Touting is a conduct which draws attention, either verbally or by means of other media, to your product offering by employing guarantees or material benefits outside the categories of professional services or items.
    • Touting or canvassing encompasses the definitions above practiced by a third party in a practitioners professional space. An example of canvassing would be informing the public that there is free Wi-Fi at the consulting rooms to use while waiting for consultation since it falls outside the services rendered by the healthcare practitioner.

Last Updated on 18 October 2016 by HPCSA Corporate Affairs