Code of Ethics on Advertising
There are clear guidelines that has been adopted by all GP’s in Fiji . This was overlooked by some of our members as well as the Mentors who should guide an aspiring GP/member .
Formal announcements in the press are allowed for the following:
- Starting a practice
- On change of type of practice
- On changing address
- Temporary absence from duty
- Resumption of another practice
- On succeeding to another practice
- Public declaration of charges
The press release or ad is limited to 2 to be published under “A Card”. It should be published on consecutive days in any of the daily newspapers of your choice A card is also with specified dimensions which the newspapers usually are aware of (at least I know FT has that guideline)
Two boards are allowed in your practice/clinic location to include the following:
- Your full name
- Degrees/Diplomas etc and names of Universities attended.
- Contact phone numbers
- Services provided in brief (factual).
- Size of letters limited to specific sizes (not exceeding 6 inches in height).
Marketing your Practices
It is considered ethical to market your practices by the two options as mentioned above Advertisements must be truthful and not deceptive or misleading.
Advertising that seeks to denigrate the competence of other individual professionals or group practices is always unethical.
Advertisements must not convey discriminatory attitudes.
GP’s should consider not just the intent of any advertisements but also its effects on the public’s view of the profession.
Advertisements in any format maybe ethical but still reflect poorly on the profession and undermine the public impressions of the profession e.g. use of large billboards or TV informercials to advertise services is not considered unethical but still considered by many to be unprofessional.
Terms such as “best doctor…….” is usually misleading, (unethical and unprofessional) designed to attract vulnerable patients.
GP’s should therefore refrain from self-advertising .
An ethical GP will build a professional reputation based only on his/her ability and integrity, will avoid advertisements in any form and make professional announcements according to the approved guidelines as mentioned above
For more information, please contact the secretariat.
Fiji College of General Practitioners.