An Australian proctology chain will advertise in two major newspapers correcting claims made about the success and discomfort level of its haemorrhoid treatment.

Proctology Centres of Australia has given court-enforceable undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to correct representations made in advertisements and to patients PCA's treatment of haemorrhoids. These included that the treatment was 100 per cent effective; had minimum discomfort; gave instant relief and needed only one visit.

ACCC Commissioner responsible for health matters, Mr Sitesh Bhojani, said today that the ACCC had received complaints from patients, and PCA acknowledged, that: in some cases the treatment may be unsuccessful; some pain and discomfort may be experienced; sometimes more than one treatment was necessary; and that the procedure is new and has not yet been scientifically validated by long-term study.

"The advertising, and representations made to patients, were misleading and breached the Trade Practices Act.

"Health is a high priority area for the ACCC following the introduction of the national competition policy," Mr Bhojani said. "The professions, including medicine, now come under the Act and the ACCC will move swiftly to ensure minimise or remedy breaches."

PCA is required to place agreed advertising in the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph informing consumers of the correct situation. It is also required to stop making the representations to patients and to introduce written instructions for staff to ensure accurate information is given to consumers.