Head of COAG Health Council puts hard word on AHPRA & CBA – update

Jack Snelling

The office of the SA Health Minister Jack Snelling has confirmed that he has written to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Chiropractic Board of Australia (CBA) “demanding to know what they are doing about chiropractors involved in ‘potentially false or misleading advertising’”.

Snelling (pictured above) is Chair of the COAG Health Council, whose members comprise all Australian Government Ministers, state and territory Ministers and Ministers from the New Zealand Government with direct responsibility for health matters, including the Australian Government Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

He has asked AHPRA and the CBA to report to him by next month.

This follows revelations by Dr Ken Harvey and Mal Vickers of the continued ineffectiveness of AHPRA, which oversees various medical boards, and the CBA, which oversees chiropractic practice, to clamp down on false, misleading and scientifically unproven or disproven claims.

In a letter to the organisations, published in The Adelaide Advertiser, Snelling called on them to provide details on:
“Recent actions taken by both to deter chiropractors from false or misleading advertising;
“Whether a new approach should be introduced to increase public confidence in the management of extreme or hard-line cases;
“Whether the board [sic] has taken action to remind practitioners of their obligations under law; and
“What plans the board has to clarify and strengthen its statements about evidence-based and patient-centred treatment in light of persistent claims some chiropractors continue to make false and misleading statements about the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for a range of health issues not necessarily limited to musculoskeletal issues.”

In the letter, Snelling said he is not yet prepared to follow demands that the management of AHPRA and CBA be removed.

At time of writing, only The Advertiser was reporting on the letter. However, further versions of the story have now been run by other media outlets. While there has been no official statement from Snelling, the COAG Health Council, AHPRA or the CBA regarding the letter, Mr Snelling’s office has confirmed to Australian Skeptics Inc that the information in The Advertiser is correct

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