Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Cross-Board Consultation on Common Guidelines

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Find a surgeon

The Find a Surgeon directory is a listing of active Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons who meet the requirements of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program and have opted to be on the list. This list excludes retired or inactive Fellows.

 

13 June 2013

With regard to social media, the College acknowledges the stated concern of some practitioners "that a social media policy could constrain the use of social media to assist good practice" (page 6) but agrees strongly with the assertion that "Health practitioners should be aware of their ethical and regulatory responsibilities when they are interacting online, just as in person" (page 30). Accordingly, the College supports AHPRA's proposal that guidelines for the use of social media by health professionals be put in place.

The College supports AHPRA's key assertion that "a person is responsible for content on their social networking pages even if they were not responsible for the initial publication of the information or testimonial" (page 15). It also strongly endorses the statement: "When using social media, health practitioners should remember that the National Law, the Code of Conduct and the Advertising guidelines apply" (page 31).

The College notes that proposed revisions to the Guidelines for mandatory notifications serve to define and clarify terms used in the existing guidelines and accepts that this is a useful exercise. However, while APHRA asserts that "The threshold to trigger a mandatory notification in relation to a practitioner is high" (page 32), the College reiterates its belief that the application of the mandatory notification requirement must not be such as to deter clinicians in need of help from seeking it.