NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has proposed new restrictions that, if successfully passed, will prevent Cosmetic Nurses from administering certain treatments without a doctor being on site. This move could see a mass loss of jobs nationwide for Cosmetic Nurses that operate in clinics and practices without a resident Doctor.
The Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 aims to “amend the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 to impose requirements in respect of certain substances and goods that may be used for cosmetic and other purposes”.
Technically speaking, the amendment will reclassify the currently S4 drugs used in cosmetic medicine, including hyaluronic acid and botulin toxin, to become S4(b) so as to restrict the ability of nurses to inject without a doctor on site. Remote or Skype consultations will no longer be allowed.
There is speculation that the cost of non-surgical procedures may increase for consumers due to lowered accessibility of practitioners and reduced competition, which could then in turn lead to an increase in untrained practitioners taking advantage of clients in search of a cheaper option.
Several organisations have been contacted by Hazzard directly in relation to the proposal, including the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia. “The CPCA has responded to a request from Minister Hazzard to answer certain questions regarding aesthetic and cosmetic medicine,” says CPCA Vice President, Dr David Kosenko. “The CPCA places patient safety first and has highlighted instances that fall short of Best Practice including nurse injectors without medical oversight and short comings with regards to many telehealth consultations.”
“We recognise that some injectors work within a business model that takes advantage of unsuspecting or untrained prescribers or does not conform within the spirit of the legislation that governs it. There are many excellent nurse injectors working within the cosmetic aesthetic field. According to current legislation, they must have a prescriber that has provided a thorough consultation, obtained consent and delegated a specific treatment. We support these nurses. The prescribing doctor retains responsibility for the outcome of any delegated treatment including complications. We do not support wholesaling of S4 medication or delegation on the basis of technology-based consultations.”
There is a Change.org petition circulating that aims to oppose the amendment, in favour of Cosmetic Nurses that operate safely, diligently and within regulatory practices.
The survey was created by experienced Cosmetic Nurse Nicole Schmid-Sanele, who says “the main argument for stopping Cosmetic Nurses is based on client safety. As yet, these claims are unfounded. Cosmetic Nurses have excellent training, are extremely professional, always show a high duty of care and always practice within our scope. They are suggesting that a GP or doctor from any form of medicine with perhaps little to no amount of training, may be more qualified to inject clients then a Cosmetic Nurse Injector who has gone through a complete training program.”
So far, the petition has received over 7000 signatures, after just one week since its inception.