Over recent weeks we have seen a litany of appalling stories of poor practises in the cosmetic surgery industry with permanent damage done to untold numbers of Australians.
The time to act is now to ensure doctors providing cosmetic procedures must be appropriately qualified and work to the highest health and safety standards expected in Australia.
Health Ministers agreed to these reforms at our most recent meeting:
- Preventing medical practitioners who are not qualified describing themselves as cosmetic “surgeons”.
- Ensuring anyone conducting a cosmetic procedure has appropriate qualifications.
- Limiting surgery to properly accredited facilities with minimum hygiene and safety standards.
- Banning doctors using patient testimonials for cosmetic surgery including on social media.
- Better information for patients on the risks and their rights so they can make an informed decision about any treatment.
The work to implement these reforms begins immediately.
The Medical Board of Australia will act to:
- better credential cosmetic surgery providers by adding an ‘Area of Practice’ to medical registrations;
- crackdown on the use of testimonials and social media;
- strengthen guidance and provide improved information for doctors in the sector; and
- establish a hotline for complaints.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has been tasked with developing specific safety and quality standards for where and how cosmetic surgery can be performed.
The Commission and the Medical Board have been asked to report back to Health Ministers within two months.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
"I welcome the decisive action agreed by Health Ministers to rein in the cosmetic cowboys.
"These cosmetic cowboys have been riding unchecked for years, and the previous Government simply didn’t act to clean up an industry that has come to resemble the Wild West.
"Australians deserve to have confidence in the safety and quality of the cosmetic surgery industry and these changes will provide that.
"I thank the brave women and men who have spoken about their experiences and shed light on this appalling behaviour. This has been crucial in finally bringing much needed action."