Mark Hanna has written a great blog post detailing the issues the Chiropractic Board has had getting their members to abide by their codes and New Zealand law. While I'm not surprised to hear about Chiropractors' efforts to circumvent laws designed to protect patients, it is disappointing to hear. The Chair of the board wrote in their newsletter about a worrying experience she had:
"At a recent chiropractic function, a presentation was given on advertising, chiropractors' responsibilities and the ASA... ensuing discussion revealed that the message is clearly not being heard by all. I was particularly disappointed in discussion among practitioners on how to best circumvent the prohibition on posting testimonials on Facebook – some very creative ideas were invented."
Back in 2015 when Mark Hanna and I looked at Chiropractors' websites, we found that a third of sites used testimonials illegally. For Mark's article, he had a quick search on Facebook for Chiropractors in NZ and found that of the first three that came up, one had posted a testimonial. He noticed that the testimonial was posted as a news article about someone claiming cured their asthma, with the following text accompanying the link:
"A story that our Dr Melinda can totally relate to! Her decision to train as a Chiropractor also came about after finding her asthma completely disappeared once she started to receive Chiropractic care."
Obviously there's a testimonial in there, from Dr Melinda herself, about how chiropractic cured her asthma and that's why she trained as a chiropractor. It's sneaky, but to me it definitely walks like a testimonial and quacks like a testimonial.
It would be great to see the Chiropractic Board take its role as a regulator more seriously, and proactively look for and sanction any chiropractors in New Zealand who are breaching their codes of practice. However, I'm not going to hold my breath that this is ever going to happen.