Sunday, July 21, 2024

New laws to whip ‘cosmetic cowboys’ into line

The Queensland Government has passed an amendment to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 aimed at safeguarding Australians against “cosmetic cowboys”.

Changes to the national law — which is hosted by Queensland — will protect the title of ‘surgeon’ within the medical profession, the Government said today.

“The passage of this bill is incredibly important. It will help protect Queenslanders, and all Australians, from potentially unsafe cosmetic surgery,” said Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services, Shannon Fentiman.

“This amendment was made in response to patient concerns over the lack of regulation and oversight in the cosmetic surgery industry.

These changes mean only qualified doctors with significant surgical training can use the title ‘surgeon’ when promoting and conducting their services.

Doctors who use the title without having completed the appropriate accredited surgical training will face up to three years in prison and a $60,000 fine.

“Now that this Bill has passed, it means that medical practitioners are only be able to use the title ‘surgeon’ if they possess the advanced surgical training and qualifications most people would reasonably expect,” said Minister Fentiman.

Other measures being taken to better regulate the cosmetic surgery industry include new licensing standards for private facilities and establishing a credentialing system to endorse qualified providers.

The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency is also moving to introduce stronger laws around advertising and the use of online influencers and brand ambassadors to promote cosmetic procedures.

“Prior to this amendment, any medical practitioner was able to promote themselves as a cosmetic or aesthetic surgeon, regardless of their qualifications and level of training,” said Minister Fentiman.

“This is just another way the Queensland Government is protecting the health and safety of all Queenslanders.”

With support from all state and territory Health Ministers, the Bill was introduced to Queensland Parliament in April 2023, before being referred to Queensland Parliament’s Health and Environment Committee for consideration.

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