Scandal has touched the cosmetic surgery industry with a raft of submissions to the medical watchdog as reported by Sydney Morning Herald. The submissions are part of a landmark enquiry on patient safety. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency launched a sweeping review of the industry and received hundreds of responses from patients and doctors. It brings to a head the demand to end the practitioners from using social media to label themselves cosmetic surgeons. It also opens the door for patients to pursue compensation after experiencing adverse cosmetic surgery outcomes. 

Victims of Medical Negligence Deserve Justice

Cosmetic surgery is a billion-dollar industry, and it has been allowed to flourish for decades as a result of weak regulation. There is an aggressive attempt by these rogue cosmetic surgery outlets to attract prospective patients, drawing many women into their clutches.

The AHPRA review set out to investigate allegations about safety and hygiene breaches, as well as patients left in extreme pain after surgeries. The report is due for release by the end of July 2022 and will examine safety concerns, social media use, procedures, and how complaints are addressed.

Ultimately, this should invite tighter regulations to ensure patients are safe when pursuing cosmetic surgery procedures. Practitioners will be forced to share the level of training they received and what surgical skills they possess. In the current landscape, it has been too easy for practitioners to overstate their level of training to lead patients to believe they have the necessary skills to carry out a particular procedure. Current laws allow anyone with a basic medical degree to hold themselves out to be a cosmetic surgeon. A specialist cosmetic surgeon has over a decade of postgrad surgical training by comparison.

Martin Foley, Victoria’s Health Minister, is spearheading a separate review, which is aiming to overhaul the laws surrounding who can use the name cosmetic surgeon. Ultimately, the safety of patients should come first. With the rise of cosmetic procedure influencers on social media, the time to tighten regulations is now.

Many patients do all the right things – they do the research and choose practitioners they believe to be fully qualified. The practitioner knows all the right things to say, but they do not have the necessary skills to complete surgeries.

It isn’t just the risk to health or mental wellbeing that this problem comes with. There is the initial cost of the procedure, and the cost of the revision surgeries to follow. Legitimate cosmetic surgeons are seeing an uptake in new patients who are visiting to repair botched surgeries.

The calls to block these rogues have been ignored in years gone by. The recommendations made in 1999 by NSW Health – the last time an in-depth review of the industry was undertaken – were ignored. The vast majority of Australians see the title cosmetic surgeon and they believe that individual is a registered specialist. Now is the opportunity to protect patients from these cosmetic cowboys. Dr Nicola Dean, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons VP, believes the practise of “surgeons” providing free surgery for influences in exchange for free advertising should be banned. 

AJB Stevens Specialises In Medical Negligence Cases 

At AJB Stevens, we are experts in handling medical negligence cases and have a focus on medical procedures gone wrong. If you are the victim of botched plastic surgery at the hands of a rogue cosmetic surgery outlet and want to seek compensation, please reach out to start the journey. You have the right to pursue compensation if you have incurred losses as a result of a botched surgery, whether it’s a monetary loss or physical or psychological. We are experts in the field and offer compassionate service to help victims seek the cosmetic surgery compensation they deserve.