Cosmetic dermatology

AHPRA cosmetic crackdown a good thing, says ACD

The Australasian College of Dermatologists says it strongly supports the medical regulator’s plans for a crackdown on cosmetic surgery, declaring it wants to be involved in developing new standards for the industry.

AHPRA released the final report an external review into the troubled sector earlier this month, promising a new $4.5 million cosmetic surgery enforcement unit and dedicated patient hotline for complaints.

It also announced plans to clarify the credentials of cosmetic surgery providers by adding an “area of practice” to medical registrations, saying it would open a consultation in the coming months on which qualifications will be accepted.

It remains unclear whether an FACD will grant automatic inclusion on the register, although the college has argued against any change preventing fellows from calling themselves ‘surgeons’.

In a statement last week, the ACD said it welcomed the findings of the review.

“All Australians should have access to safe, timely and quality care, and have confidence that their medical practitioner is appropriately trained and qualified in the surgery they are performing,” it said (link here).

“Therefore, ACD strongly supports the recommendation that the Medical Board of Australia play a greater role in setting expectations in relation to the education and training of doctors who perform cosmetic surgery, including development of an accreditation standard and establishing an area of practice endorsement for cosmetic surgery that would be entered on the public register.”

The college added: “We welcome the recommendation for broad consultation to determine what that endorsement standard and training should be and look forward to being a key stakeholder in these consultations, along with other Australian Medical Council accredited specialist medical colleges.”

Besides that, the college backed the strengthening of complaints assessment processes as well as the planned crackdown on cosmetic surgery advertising on social media.

“ACD also welcomes increased focus on improving the quality and transparency of information available to consumers about the qualifications of their practitioner and on their rights and avenues for raising concerns when something goes wrong,” it added.

Separately, Minister for Health Mark Butler announced his state and territory colleagues had agreed reforms including:

  • Regulations “preventing medical practitioners who are not qualified describing themselves as cosmetic surgeons”
  • Limiting surgery to properly accredited facilities with minimum hygiene and safety standards
  • Banning doctors using patient testimonials for cosmetic surgery including on social media
    An information campaign for patients on the risks of cosmetic surgery and their rights

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