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Style Guide 03 – 2011

Q: “I have found a great house for a dental practice in my local area. Will I need a planning permit to set up?

A: The short is answer is yes, unless the council area you live in has a most unusual approach to planning.

Approval is generally supported if there are no more than two or three practitioners, there is plenty of onsite parking away from neighbours’ living or sleeping areas, there is plenty of landscaping area on site, and there is compliant access for disabled people.

Q: “I am a principal dentist in a partnership, we have testimonials on our website. We recently received a letter from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) claiming this is inappropriate. I have signed consent forms from my patients giving us permission to use their testimonials on our website. Doesn’t client consent allow us to use their testimonials?”

A: Patient consent and the ability to use that testimonial for promotional purposes are two separate issues. The idea of getting written permission from patients is to reduce the chance of getting sued for libel (defamation).

As dentists, you offer regulated health services, this is why you need to register with the dental board. In late 2009 the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (Qld) was enacted, and section 133 prohibits regulated health services from using testimonials to promote business.

Thank you all so much for making our dreams come true … creating a vibrant, energetic, fun & functional working environment. We actually now look forward to coming to work everyday!
Dr Mala Desai + Dilip Kotecha
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