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Regulation of cosmetic surgery gets more teeth

Cosmetic Surgery

Our recent blog supported the introduction by the Medical Board of Australia of new guidelines specifically for those undertaking cosmetic surgery. Now NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has taken steps to tighten regulation in this area at a state level.

One of the concerns which still remained even with the new Guidelines, is that major invasive surgeries such as breast implants and tummy tucks, could still be carried out in clinics and facilities which are not equipped to deal with complications and which appear to result in greater incidence of post-operative infection.

As of October this year, major cosmetic surgery will be required to be carried out in facilities which have the same standards as private hospitals. In our view, this goes a long way towards protecting consumers and ensuring an appropriate environment for performing surgery. Although almost all clients undergoing cosmetic surgery are “healthy,” the risk of complications remains where anaesthesia and major surgical procedures are involved. This was evident from Health Care Complaints Commission’s investigation into six adverse events (including cardiac arrest and pneumothorax) which happened to six patients of The Cosmetic Institute.

Regulation in this area has been sadly lacking. Let’s hope the health ministers in other States and Territories follow NSW’s lead.

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