Review of cosmetic surgery sector welcome but overdue

30th Nov 2021

The review of patient safety in the cosmetic surgery sector announced by Ahpra today is welcome but long overdue, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

 “The regulation of cosmetic surgery has not kept pace with the huge growth in the industry,” said Ms Ngaire Watson, barrister and medical law spokesperson for the ALA. “We have been very concerned for some time now about the increasing numbers of people who suffer serious complications and ongoing injury as a result of elective cosmetic procedures.

“We are particularly concerned about some of the promotional practices we have observed in the industry and are pleased to see that the management of advertising offences will be part of the review process.

“It’s critically important that the messages communicated by cosmetic clinics make it clear to people, particularly younger people, that cosmetic procedures by their very nature are risky and can involve complex surgery.

 “We are also pleased that protected titles will be considered as part of the review as we believe it must be made mandatory for practitioners to clearly identify their qualifications and particularly whether or not they are a specialist plastic surgeon in all marketing material.

“Too many people who seek legal assistance after botched surgery are surprised to find that the ‘cosmetic surgeon’ they have consulted has no recognised surgical qualifications, and they have often not fully understood the risks of the procedure they have undertaken.

“This review of the industry is urgent and must result in change before more people suffer the consequences of undergoing a cosmetic procedure without having access to all the relevant information.”

Earlier this month the ALA released a paper reviewing the regulation of cosmetic surgery advertising and making ten recommendations designed to protect consumers. This report can be read in full here.


Tags: Cosmetic Medical law