Plastic Surgeons welcome NSW Government new cosmetic surgery regulations

Plastic Surgeons welcome NSW Government new cosmetic surgery regulations

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) welcomes new recommendations from NSW Health to strengthen existing regulations surrounding cosmetic procedures.

Nine recommendations are contained in the NSW Health Report which followed a review announced by NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, following the death of a woman who underwent a breast augmentation procedure at a Sydney beauty clinic.

The recommendations which have already been, or are in the process of being implemented including:

• The creation of a new offence for a person such as a medical practitioner to perform certain surgical cosmetic procedures in an unlicensed private health facility;
• Tighter regulations for the prescribing, use, storage, access, and administration of medicines commonly used in cosmetic procedures;
• Additional regulations on extreme body modification procedures, such as sub-dermal implants or tongue splitting, that are carried out by non-medical practitioners.

“These recommendations represent a good start towards protecting public safety in NSW for those who seek cosmetic surgery and we welcome the fact the Government has taken action,” says ASPS President, Professor Mark Ashton. “With the growing number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery we are seeing an increasing number of injuries, complications and deaths occurring where procedures are performed by unqualified practitioners in unlicensed premises. For this reason the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons has for some years called on governments around the country to enact uniform legislation to regulate the industry,” says ASPS President, Professor Mark Ashton.

“While we are pleased the NSW Government is taking action, we nonetheless believe the recommendations could be stronger still, and in particular we look forward to seeing further information regarding enforcement and penalties in relation to some of the recommendations.

“Regulations only effective if they are adequately policed and there are genuine deterrents for those who might otherwise do the wrong thing.

“While the report acknowledges issues surrounding the use of the term “cosmetic surgeon” by practitioners who do not hold registration in a specialist surgical field, leading to confusion among Founded in 1970, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc (ASPS) is the peak body for Specialist Plastic Surgeons (both reconstructive and cosmetic). Its mission is to provide the highest quality plastic surgery care to all Australians. consumers about the training and qualifications of practitioners performing cosmetic procedures, NSW Health has, disappointingly, failed to support any changes at this stage.

“We believe restriction of the use of the word ‘surgeon’ to those people who have completed specialist surgical training accredited by the Australian Medical Council and are Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons would go a long way to eliminating confusion among consumers who are often ill-equipped to distinguish between the considerable range of people promoting themselves as ‘cosmetic surgeons’,” says Professor Ashton.

To read the NSW Health Report visit:

Media enquiries: Sandra Renowden 0403823218 or email

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