We wish to alert you to an article that may be appearing in this weekend’s edition of The Weekend Australian. CAA National has been working over the last two weeks on behalf of our members to minimise references to CAA and the profession in general as part of this, but it is possible that the article will be unfavourable to chiropractic.
If any of your patients raise this article with you, it’s important to remind them that we are a profession that is regulated, skilfully trained and has been seeing results for over 100 years with a very good safety record. Thousands of Australian choose chiropractic care every day and are seeing results.
If you are approached by the media we strongly recommend you direct them to CAA National’s media representative on phone no. (0407) 860 834. From the CAA’s perspective, we are strategically working with one of Australia’s major health PR agencies and our Government relations advisor in order to manage – as much as might be possible – interest from the press. We are regularly approached and have to make difficult decisions about the level of engagement we have with the press, knowing that rarely is the true nature of an intended article disclosed to us to enable us to contribute to a truly balanced story.
Many times our efforts result in negative articles not appearing or petering out quite quickly, which we see as being a win for our profession considering the alternative, especially in the current climate. The CAA is never happy with a negative press outcome, but we are recognising that even when these types of stories do appear, the level of damage controlled is often greater than a reader of the final article is able to appreciate without detailed knowledge of the work behind it.
What’s behind this media interest?
The chiropractic profession is increasingly under scrutiny. Within Australia, much of the media scrutiny we have been experiencing of late is fuelled by the activities of individuals within the Australian Skeptics. One particular skeptic has been generating a series of anti-chiropractic communications and submissions directed to the National Health Minister as well as regulatory and educational bodies relating to the chiropractic profession.
Members should be aware that this individual’s most recent submission was made just a few weeks ago, and CAA is currently finalising a response in relation to it for the National Health Minister. These submissions tend to be emotive, the latest one being a misleading document taking information from scattered sources and presenting this information out of context. CAA views these submissions as seriously flawed. Upon close inspection, the majority of comments these submissions make are inaccurate or misconceptions designed to mislead the reader.
What can I do?
In the first instance, it’s imperative that every chiropractor ensures they adhere to the Chiropractic Board of Australia’s National Codes & Guidelines. As part of a nationally regulated system, chiropractors must ensure they meet the standards and requirements set for registered health practitioners. Otherwise they will be vulnerable to scrutiny.
Continue to support the CAA. We would appreciate you understanding the level of effort of your Association in managing the public perception of chiropractic. Due to the nature, frequency and invariably short time frames given when we are approached by the press, it is not always practical or possible to share with our members the intimate details of this behind-the-scenes activity. But we wish to assure you that we continue to work very hard on behalf of all our members to manage the perception of chiropractic as best as possible within the confines of having no final control of the message communicated to the general public.
As always, we continue to make every effort to mitigate negative press that at times is being played out in the media, as well as our attempts to generate positive media in a credible, appropriate way that above all aims to maintain integrity and unity for the profession as a whole.
Dr Simon Floreani, Chiropractor
CAA National President