Chiropractic Board of Australia ‘should be sacked’

Public Health

By Nicola Garrett

18 Jan 2016

The Chiropractic Board of Australia should be sacked because of its consistent failure to protect the public from misleading and deceptive conduct by practitioners, experts argue.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia anti-quackery campaigner Dr Ken Harvey and Malcolm Vickers from Australian Skeptics said they had submitted 10 complaints to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) about chiropractic clinic websites that made claims around treating non-musculoskeletal diseases such as asthma, otitis media and pneumonia with spinal manipulation.

However of the 10 clinics involved only one has removed all the claims to breach the national law, they say.

“Another took down the website complained about, but the chiropractor concerned then made similar claims on another website. Of 69 claims alleged non-compliant with the national law, 43 [62%] currently remain non-compliant,” they wrote.

The Chiropractic Board’s (and AHPRA’s) handling of complaints by educative measures alone is ineffective, Harvey and Vickers say.

“Despite hundreds of complaints about unethical advertising over many years and calls to act on practitioners who promote anti-vaccination beliefs the Chiropractic Board has consistently failed to protect the public from misleading and deceptive conduct by practitioners.”

“Given that track record, it’s not surprising that there are now calls for the Chiropractic Board of Australia to be sacked,” they conclude.

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