Australia’s rates of cosmetic surgery procedures have officially surpassed the US. The country’s bill for body and facial procedures is peaking at $1 Billion a year, more per capita than across the Pacific.
Last year, over 500,000 procedures were performed in Australia, ranging from small anti-ageing treatments such as fillers and anti-wrinkle injections to more invasive procedures such as breast augmentations and liposuction.
The increasing demand for cosmetic procedures has finally prompted health ministers to crack down on cosmetic cowboys causing confusion and often providing unsafe surgical environments. According to the Daily Telegraph, a public consultation paper is about to be released by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, aiming to restrict the use of the term ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’.
At the moment, any GP – whether they have any surgical experience or not – can call themselves cosmetic surgeon as it’s currently not a recognised specialty. This causes many patients to believe they’re in the hands of a qualified, experienced surgeon when the truth might be quite the opposite.
A Plastic Surgeon has undergone many years of specialised training and thousands of hours of actual operating experience whereas a Cosmetic Surgeon, in many cases, only completed a basic medical degree at university.
“The system is a complete lottery for patients,” says Dr Ron Bezic, president of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery. “There is no simple national and easily recognisable way for patients to know whether they are in safe hands.”
The crackdown will offer a much-needed regulation to the cosmetic surgery industry in Australia.