Tasmanian AHPRA Stakeholders Meeting

Linda Thomas (DHAA Tasmania Chair) and Danielle Gibbens (DHAA Tasmania Director) were fortunate enough to be invited to the most recent AHPRA Tasmania stakeholders meeting to be updated on all this AHPRA specific for Tasmanian members. They were lucky enough to meet the whole team that takes care of dental matters for AHPRA along with other stakeholders such as the ADA and ADOHTA.

A large proportion of the meeting was spent discussing advertising and regulations around this. This is often not much of a concern for our profession but we would like to share with you some points we found relevant

  • • Testimonials are still not allowed – this should be familiar with most of us but what was clarified was the definition of a testimonial which is ‘any positive statement made by someone outside of the business’.
  • • Social media – Reviews on social media with positive statements is classified as a testimonial which is not allowed. Facebook has recently removed the privilege on business pages to hide the review section. When AHPRA was asked about this they understand this is a grey area but did say it is NOT an obligation to have a Facebook page it is a choice.

The issue with testimonials is they can be misleading to the public regardless to whether or not the dental practice or practitioner has produced them and we should be doing our utmost to limit them.

When advertising is not within the boundaries set by AHPRA the health professional can potentially face a $5,000 fine or the business a $10,000 fine. If you would like further clarification on advertising we were supplied with the current national guidelines for advertising regulated health services which we would be happy to share with you.

With registrations due at the end of next month the head of the registration department gave us a few helpful tips to make sure we correctly register to prevent a call from AHPRA which were;

  • • In Tasmania only traffic offences are classed as a criminal offence. If you have received a ticket from a police officer in Tasmania you need to tick ‘YES’ to having a criminal record on your AHPRA registration. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT – your registration is a statutory declaration! You will not be penalised for your traffic offences but you will be for being dishonest on your stat dec.
  • • Do your own registration – it is not acceptable to have practice managers/staff to do this document for you as it is a statutory declaration from you. It is always best to be honest and make sure you read the questions properly when filling registration out. If you do not understand a question please either contact AHPRA or the DHAA for assistance.
  • • You are agreeing to follow the Infection control guidelines when filling out your registration so please make sure you have an up to date copy at your practice and that you have read and understood the document.
  • • CPD – if you have not completed the 60 hours of CPD for any reason please be honest and state it on your registration. Most of the time you will only be asked to catch up on the hours you have missed unless you have been dishonest on your registration saying you have for filled your commitment when you have not.
  • • If your circumstances change in any of the categories which are asked on your registration such as criminal history, ability to work safely, CPD etc you must contact AHPRA within 7 days of this occurring. It is not acceptable to wait until the next registration period and declare it then.

The take home message from AHPRA at this meeting is they are there solely for the safety of the community. The majority of dental professionals work at and maintain a high standard of care to patients which means they will never get a call from AHPRA. If your circumstances change or you are unsure please do contact AHPRA, they have many wonderful well trained professionals waiting to help you.

Finally at the end of 2018 applications for the Tasmanian representative on the Dental Board will be open. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Mr Paul House the current Tasmanian rep for the last nine years he has represented our state on the dental board.