28 April 2018

NSW Health today issued a report recommending tighter regulations of cosmetic procedures and urged consumers to be more cautious of budget deals and dodgy practitioners.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard ordered the review following the death of a woman who underwent a non-surgical breast augmentation at a beauty clinic in inner-Sydney last year.

NSW already has some of the strongest laws in the country to regulate cosmetic surgery and procedures and these new measures will make existing regulations more robust.

The report made nine recommendations which have been, or are in the process of being, implemented including:

  • a new offence for medical practitioners who carry out certain cosmetic services and treatment in an unlicensed private health facility
  • tighter regulations for the prescribing, use, storage, access, and administration of medicines commonly used in procedures
  • additional regulations on extreme body modification procedures which are carried out by non-medical practitioners.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said regardless of the new measures, no cosmetic procedure is risk-free and people wanting any treatment should do their homework.

“It is important to remember that every cosmetic procedure carries some form of risk and people should check to see if their practitioner is legitimate and safe,” Dr Chant said.

“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 here.

“If the procedure is surgical, the premises should be licenced and if the medications on offer are cheaper than competitors, they may be counterfeit and not Australian registered.”

The full Report can be viewed online at Cosmetic procedures.

Check list for people considering cosmetic procedures

  • Seek advice from your GP before having a procedure, to get information about any health or infection risks that might be involved.
  • Check the qualifications and experience of the provider. For doctors and nurses, check the AHPRA website to see if they are registered or have any conditions on their practice.
  • Don’t jump in. Take your time deciding on the procedure. Ask questions, obtain information and read it carefully before you agree to proceed.
  • Check if the planned procedure should be performed at a hospital.
  • Are the prices quoted for the procedure or medication far less than competitors? The products may be counterfeit or not Australian registered medicines.
  • If there are any complications after a cosmetic procedure – seek medical advice.
  • Refer any complaints concerning the quality of cosmetic procedures to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC).

More information regarding unsafe and illegal practices at beauty and cosmetic clinics is available from the HCCC: