Law to ban public health advertisements mooted

ALVINE KAPITAKO
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The advertisement of health services in public and mass media will soon be a thing of the past, as there are plans to ban such advertisements, Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, has said.
This means that traditional and spiritual healers, who advertise their services through the media, will no longer have that privilege, Dr Haufiku explained.

It also means that professional health service providers with private practices would need to adhere to set provisions on advertising their services. Haufiku told New Era Weekend that the law would be reformed in order to be ‘tough and strict’ to limit the exploitation of people by health service providers.

“Medical professionals are not allowed to advertise. We are going to ban all these things,” stressed Dr Haufiku, explaining that some of the current health laws have loopholes, which people are exploiting.

“It has become a mess. Medical professionals are not allowed to advertise. Pharmacies are advertising all sorts of products. That is not allowed. We are going to ban all those things otherwise everyone takes advantage of the profession,” said Dr Haufiku.

Further, he explained that some health service providers are not adhering to the current laws. “Some things are already provided for in the law, where, for example, writing on a board of a medical practice should not exceed a certain font size,” said Dr Haufiku.

Medical practitioners would soon be required to have a letterhead in their practices that, among others, states their qualification and registration with the Health Professions Council.

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