NSW Government Promises Tighter Cosmetic Regulations

NSW-based Cosmetic Practitioners will soon be hit with tougher regulations, including a new offence for practicing in unlicensed facilities, plus tighter regulations around Botox injections.

A new report released by the Health Department makes nine recommendations to better regulate the booming cosmetic industry, including stricter rules around ‘extreme body modifications’, including procedures from plastic surgery, filler injections, Botox, or procedures such as Body modification surgery like subdermal implants (silicone or metal shapes or horns under the skin) or ‘tongue splitting’.

The report also highlights the need for consumers to be more cautious and carry out proper research before deciding to undertake any cosmetic procedures.

The Health Department’s review was prompted by the death of 35-year-old Jean Huang, who died in September 2017 as a result of a cosmetic procedure she received from Medi Beauty Clinic in Sydney’s Chippendale. Chinese tourist Jie Shao and graduate Yueqiong Fu were charged with manslaughter over Huang’s death, who went into cardiac arrest after she was given the wrong dose of anaesthetic while receiving breast fillers.

The review also comes off the back of recent raids conducted by the New South Wales Health Department, during which hundreds of contraband cosmetic drugs were seized from various salons and clinics. The items seized by authorities included non-approved topical anaesthetics, dermal fillers, human placenta extract and medical-strength peels made in China and Japan.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says that the NSW Government has promised to implement all the report’s nine recommendations.

“NSW already has some of the strongest laws in the country to regulate cosmetic surgery and procedures, and these new measures build on the existing regulations.”

Highlighted in the review is the use of Botox, and calls for stronger regulation and oversight of the drug at a national level, ensuring safe and proper administration by adequately qualified professionals, and to prevent the illegal importation of contraband from outside Australia.

Since, as noted in the report, many of the issues arising from cosmetic procedures fall into consumer protection and fair trading, it recommended NSW Health work in cooperation with NSW Fair Trading to increase consumer awareness and the type of research they should be conducting themselves.

“If someone claims to be a doctor or a nurse, search the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website to see if that practitioner is registered there,” said Dr Chant.