Tough new guidelines for cosmetic procedures

13 May 2016 | New rules to protect vulnerable and young patients.

Cosmetic crack down

This week the Medical Board of Australia announced the introduction of tough new guidelines for cosmetic medical and surgical procedures.

These new rules will apply to all medical practitioners (including plastic, cosmetic surgeons and physicians) and have been developed to help protect consumers who decide to undertake cosmetic procedures, with a particular focus on young potential patients (aged 18 and under). 

New rules

Some of the new rules that will come into play from October 2016 include:

  • A seven-day cooling off period for all adults before undertaking major procedures.
  • A three-month cooling off period before major procedures for under-18s and a mandatory evaluation by a registered psychologist, general practitioner or psychiatrist.
  • A seven-day cooling off period before minor procedures, such as injectables, for all under-18s and when needed an evaluation by a registered psychologist, general practitioner or psychiatrist.
  • Medical practitioners will take responsibility for post-operative patient care and ensure that there are emergency facilities when they are using sedation, anaesthesia or analgesia.
  • For patients seeking out minor procedures that involve the use of schedule 4 medications (such as Botox and injectables) there will be a mandatory consultation with a medical practitioner either in person or by video consultation.
  • Medical practitioners will provide patients with detailed written information about costs.

"The guidelines will help keep patients safe, without imposing an unreasonable regulatory burden on practitioners," said Board Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn AM.

The Board says the guidelines have come about after consulting widely with the profession, the industry and the community about the best way to protect consumers seeking cosmetic medical and surgical procedures from medical practitioners.