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Australasian Health Professionals Directory: updated advice to members

Last year the AMA advised members regarding notices they may have received from a group calling itself ‘AUAHP Australasian Health Professionals Directory’.

The unsigned cover letter advised recipients to confirm their practice details for inclusion in a directory of health practitioners.

In our opinion it was misleading and contradictory.

It appeared to be confirming a free listing, and stated that “basic data is published free of charge”. It induced recipients to sign, but the fine print provided that by signing, they were agreeing to a paid listing for a minimum of three years, at “AUD1300 per year, charged in advance”. From the documentation we saw, there was no way to confirm a free listing.

We understand that many practices signed the documentation, thinking they were confirming a free listing. Since then, several practices have been receiving letters of demand with extra costs added.

Our advice

Our advice to members is to retain that correspondence, but ignore the demands for money and not engage with AUAHP further.

We recommend you do not get involved with AUAHP.

Naturally, the ultimate decision on whether to take part or not is yours.

The only address we can find for this entity is in Portugal. It would be extremely difficult to exercise your rights under contract or consumer law if you engage with AUAHP and are later dissatisfied with the service you receive.

Unless you are absolutely certain that you want to be involved in this scheme, we recommend that you do not make any payment or provide credit card details. The more information you give, the more you expose yourself to risk.

If you are being contacted by AUAHP seeking further information, such as credit card details, or payment of any kind, do not pay or provide those details. Contact the Office of Fair Trading in your State or Territory.

Based on what we have seen, it is extremely unlikely that any Australian court would uphold the legitimacy of these agreements.

If you have received different documentation, or have engaged with AUAHP via a different medium, this advice may not apply.

As always, if you have doubts, you should contact the Office of Fair Trading in your State or Territory, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or seek independent legal advice.