I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my patients for the wonderful feedback we have received for our services over many years. Positive comments about our professionalism, friendliness and good communication have been gratefully received along with constructive criticism that has helped us improve in all facets of patient care and communication. We will continue to seek your feedback but unfortunately we will no longer be able to publish these comments as the Medical Council of New Zealand has decided to outlaw “Testimonials” in medical advertising.
In their recently up dated “Statement on Advertising”, November 2016, they say: Advertisements must not unduly glamorise products and services or foster unrealistic expectations. Testimonials * can create unrealistic expectation of outcomes in patients and must not be used or quoted in your advertising or on any websites, social media forums or any other platforms you control that advertise your services.**
*Testimonial has its ordinary meaning of a recommendation or positive statement made by another person, for example, about a doctor’s care, skill, expertise or treatment. Testimonials include expressions of appreciation or esteem, a character reference or a statement of the benefits received from the care provided. Testimonials are not limited to comments from patients but may also include feedback and endorsements from colleagues, other health care professionals, friends, family and other persons in the doctor’s network.
**You must not encourage patients to leave testimonials on websites or other platforms you control that advertise your or your practice’s services, nor should you encourage patients to submit testimonials about your or your practice’s services to third party websites. It is your responsibility to monitor regularly the contents of such websites or platforms and to remove any testimonials that are posted there. However, you are not responsible for any unsolicited testimonials or comments that are published on a website, in social media or other forms of media over which you do not have control.