Each year it is estimated that in Australia $ 300,000 million is spent on anti-wrinkle injections, 16,000  get breast implant and another 15,000 undergo liposuction.  The Medical Board circulated draft regulations asking for feedback from cosmetic providers in March 2015 regarding concerns and issues, particularly regarding patient safety and selection.. In Australia, a plastic surgeon has to complete a medical degree and a further 10 years at least post graduate surgical training.  Breast operations, liposuction and facelifts can be performed by all those with a medical degree, who can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon. There is ongoing tension between the two groups, Plastic surgeons claim the practice is unsafe as cosmetic surgeons argue that the Plastic surgeons are trying to protect their market. The Medical Board has attempted to address the concerns of both groups and the community with their new guidelines.

The Medical Board has published the new guidelines and rules expected from registered practitioners providing cosmetic procedures from October 1 after identifying a range of concerns.  Under these rules, the Doctor is required to:

  • Provide mandatory seven-day cooling off periods for people who are considering a major procedure ( those that involve cutting beneath the skin , such as breast enlargement or  rhinoplasty ) The period is 3 months when the person is aged under 18 years
  • Refer any adult patient to a psychologist, GP or psychiatrist who is suspected of having a serious underlying psychological problem, and all people aged under 18 years of age
  • Ensure that there are adequate facilities, equipment  and trained staff to deal with resuscitation and other emergencies
  • The treating practitioner to take 'explicit' responsibility for post-operative care as well as emergency facilities when using anaesthesia
  • Consult in person or via teleconference with patients seeking prescription only injectables such as botox
  • Provide written detailed information about costs for patients and not offer financing schemes other than credit card facilities
  • Decline to perform a procedure if they believe it is not in the bet interest of the patient
  • Inform patients about their qualifications and experience

The Medical Board has no authority over when anaesthetic agents can be used and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons has called for States and Territories to urgently tighten regulations governing where anaesthetics can be used

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