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Australia Calls for cosmetic surgery regulation

08:31  29 november  2021
08:31  29 november  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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More then 300 cosmetic surgeries in Australia have been botched in recent years, prompting calls for tighter regulations for doctors.

National regulator AHPRA has called for a national register to accredit doctors for cosmetic surgery © Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS National regulator AHPRA has called for a national register to accredit doctors for cosmetic surgery

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has raised concerns over doctors calling themselves cosmetic surgeons after revealing an alarming number of complaints.

Responding to a current parliamentary inquiry, the AHPRA said they received 313 notifications of cosmetic surgeries that had a complication or injury in the last three years up to June 2021.

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Complaints were made against 183 surgeons following procedures ranging from tummy tucks, breast augmentation, face lifts, liposuction and eyelid surgery to non-invasive treatments like dermal fillers and anti-ageing injections.

Almost 40 per cent of the ­complaints were against plastic surgeons, prompting calls for doctors carrying out cosmetic operations to be better regulated.

Doctors in Australia can call themselves cosmetic surgeons without being registered as a specialist surgeon or completing Australian Medical Council-accredited training.

Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery and Medicine president Dr Patrick Tansley called for the federal government to introduce a national register to accredit doctors for cosmetic surgery.

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"Accreditation in cosmetic surgery by the Australian ­government will significantly reduce the number of botched procedures taking place each year, as all practitioners wishing to undertake it will be forced to undergo specific training and demonstrate ­specific competency in this field of practice," he said.

"If they do not, they will be unable to use the title 'cosmetic surgeon'.

"That solution could not be any clearer or safer. All competent surgeons providing cosmetic surgery who are concerned about patient safety should welcome its introduction."

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has been sought for comment.

National regulator AHPRA is featuring in a parliamentary inquiry headed by Greens senator Janet Rice that has recently been extended by four months following allegations about cosmetic surgery made in an investigation by The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and ABC's Four Corners program.

A health regulation consultant told the Four Corners program that the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry in Australia was "like the Wild West but without the sheriffs".

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