The ACCS’ Crackdown On Patient Safety

It’s been a busy week for the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, beginning with the issue of a formal warning around cases of HIV contracted through PRP facials.

The peak cosmetic surgery body released its statement following a string of well-publicised reports of an American spa being responsible for the spread of HIV, with two people allegedly diagnosed with the same strand of HIV after receiving vampire facials from the salon in New Mexico.

Councillor for ACCS, Dr Ronald Feiner, says that there are steps that Australian consumers should be taking to ensure these types of procedures are carried out safely.

“All Australians should carefully consider any medical procedure,” Dr Feiner said.“Problems occur when your practitioner gives you someone else’s plasma, re-uses needles and uses infected syringes. Unprofessional practices like that can lead to infections and even blood-borne diseases.”

“Vampire facials are medical procedures, they should never take place in a beauty salon or performed by a beautician. Vampire facials should only take place at an approved medical facility by an appropriately trained doctor or nurse. Such professionals must have been trained in the process of venipuncture, the handling of blood products and have meticulous attention in the use of single use, disposable needles and syringes.”

In another stand against malpractice and under-qualified professionals, ACCS has called on the incoming Government to strengthen its guidelines on who can operate on patients seeking surgical procedures.

The guidelines around medical practitioners and the procedures they can perform based on their ‘titles’ are murky, and can cause great confusion among consumers seeking surgery.

ASSC Vice-President Patrick Tansley said up to five types of medical operators currently call themselves ‘cosmetic surgeons’ when most do not have the professional authority to do so, leading to confusion among patients and regulators.

“Almost anyone on the medical practitioner spectrum can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon, from ‘fly-in, fly-out’ operators, registered GPs and plastic surgeons, right up to the highest standard of Fellow of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery,” Mr Tansley said.

“Patients have no way of knowing whether their surgeon is properly qualified and has undergone specific training in cosmetic surgery. The College has been working closely with the Health Care Complaints Commission to inform them of unsafe practices taking place around the country.”

“The current system is a complete lottery for patients. There is no simple, national and easily recognisable way for patients to know whether they are in safe hands.”

The body is now calling on the Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt, to bring together the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, state ministerial colleagues and other stakeholders to create a nationally recognised accreditation standard for practitioners who undertake cosmetic surgical procedures, to provide better and safer outcomes for patients.

ACCS has put together a handy table for patients to better understand what their practitioners are allowed to carry out, and the training and education they need to have undergone in order to do so.












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