AMA calls for swift action on cosmetic surgery

In welcoming the release of independent review in the regulation of cosmetic surgery by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (Ahpra) and the Medical Council of Australia (MBA), the AMA said an initial review of the 16 recommendations showed that they seemed to be a positive step in the right direction, but many details remain to be finalized in consultation with the profession.

The AMA also calls on health ministers to act on the key recommendations at their meeting today (Friday 2 September 2022) and further calls on the Queensland parliament to drop legislation allowing practitioners to use testimonials , including those who perform cosmetic surgery.

The AMA has been concerned for many years that patients may be misled by the term “cosmetic surgeon” or “podiatric surgeon” into thinking they are dealing with a physician who has formal and specific surgical qualifications when in fact that may not be the case.

AMA Chairman Professor Steve Robson said: “While it will take time to implement some of these changes, AHPRA and the MBA must act quickly on these recommendations which may result in changes now. , including a crackdown on advertising.

“It is important to note that at their meeting on Friday, health ministers could take the decision to protect patients by limiting the title of “surgeon” to doctors who have undertaken a significant accredited surgical training program.

“Health ministers are dragging their feet to review the use of the title ‘surgeon’ since 2018 in a separate review. Taking action to protect the title ‘surgeon’ will support many of the initiatives outlined in the report. The ministers of health can no longer delay taking decisive action.

“We have all been shocked by the cases of botched cosmetic surgery reported in the media and we must put an end to these totally inappropriate practices.

“The Queensland Parliament can also play a role by bringing legislation before it that allows health practitioners to use evidence to support their work.

“Testimonials may be false or taken out of context and the bill contains limited protections that will prove unenforceable and will likely lead to increased harm, complications and deterioration in the health of many consumers,” the professor said. Robson.

Key recommendations include:

· Require that doctors who practice cosmetic surgery have a specific mention of cosmetic surgery when registering,

· Crack down on the advertising and misuse of testimonials, and

· Creation of a specific application unit for cosmetic surgery within the AHPRA

The AMA supports restricting the use of the title ‘surgeon’ to physicians who have completed a significant surgical training program provided by an Australian Medical Council (AMC) approved training provider.

You can read our full press release here.

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