Don’t Get Caught Up With The Wrong Clinic And Regret It – Public Warning!

KNOW HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN SEEKING COSMETIC PROCEDURES OR SURGERY.

On 28 September 2017, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission released a Public Warning relating to the unsafe and illegal practices of some Beauty Salons and Cosmetic Clinics.

So what does that mean for YOU?

Basically, it means that there are lots of Clinics out there, right now, pretending to be above-board and credible, and supposedly working under the supervision of a registered Medical Practitioner, but in reality, they are NOT! They are relying on the general public being unaware of the Regulations and thereby are putting the health and safety of their clients at risk.

So, what are the Regulations and what can you do to protect yourself?

First and foremost – Do your research thoroughly and confirm all the following points BEFORE consenting to any cosmetic procedure whether it be surgical or non-surgical.

1. By law, you must always be first assessed by a registered Medical Practitioner (i.e. A Doctor, not a Nurse) prior to any Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures such as:

  • Botox, Xeomin or Dysport
  • Dermal fillers
  • Local Anaesthetics such as Lidocaine – whether administered by injection OR cream form!

By law, BEFORE any of the above Schedule 4 medications can be administered, you must have first been consulted by a registered Medical Practitioner (not a Nurse) from that clinic and be under the direct care or supervision of that Medical Practitioner.

The administration of medications by non-registered and unqualified persons is dangerous!  Consumers who receive treatments in these circumstances are taking enormous risks that could ultimately lead to life changing injuries or even death – as sadly happened in Sydney this year, resulting in the death of a Beauty Salon owner who received injections into her breasts by an unqualified practitioner.

Also worth mentioning, to receive any of the above treatments from a Registered Nurse after being consulted only by the Registered Nurse (instead of a registered Medical Practitioner) is also both dangerous and illegal!

2. Are the products being offered to you listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG)?

The import and supply of medications that are not listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) is illegal and very dangerous since there is no way of determining the safety of these medicines.

If the product offered isn’t approved by the ARTG – and a Clinic still offers it to you – it’s like playing Russian roulette with your health and safety! Why would anyone put their trust in someone who is willing to put you at this type of risk?

Some clinics also blatantly seek to attract clients by offering extremely discounted prices and can do so by using cheap, counterfeit products that may look like the genuine products but in reality, are anything but! If ever in doubt – don’t be afraid to ask the Clinic WHAT product they intend to use, where they got it from and check the packaging for authenticity/manufacturer’s details.

3. Is the Clinic appropriately registered and properly equipped for infection control?

  • If you are having skin penetration procedures at a clinic where there is no registered Medical Practitioner working, you should immediately notify the relevant local council. This then enables random inspections to be conducted to monitor compliance with Infection Control Regulations.
  • You should also satisfy yourself as to the following basic hygiene requirements:
  • The clinic needs to be clean and hygienic.
  • The clinic must have a ‘Contaminated Waste Disposal’ system.
  • The Clinic needs to have a hand basin with a clean supply of water, a liquid soap dispenser and single-use towels or a hand dryer for drying hands.
  • Protective equipment needs to be worn by the person carrying out the procedure in the form of gloves that have never been worn and a clean gown or apron.
  • Needles must not have been previously used and need to be properly disposed of using an appropriate ‘Sharps Container’.
  • Medication ampoules must only be used once and you are entitled to ask that the single use ampules are shown to you before the procedure starts.

4. Are you having Cosmetic Surgery?

There are extra protections in place for anyone who is undergoing Cosmetic Surgery procedures such as: significant Liposuction, Fat Transfer, Facial Implants, Breast Augmentation, Breast Reduction & “Tummy Tuck” to name just some.

New legislation introduced in March 2017 requires that:

  • The above mentioned procedures must only be performed in licensed premises such as accredited Hospitals or licensed Day Surgery Centres.
  • Any administration of an anesthetic to achieve more than conscious sedation, must only be performed in licensed premises such as accredited Hospitals or licensed Day Surgery Centres.
  • The procedure is performed by a practitioner registered in Australia with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). You can verify your doctor’s registration at ahpra.gov.au

If the practitioner is not registered in Australia, DO NOT proceed.

5. Have you been properly informed?

The practitioner performing the procedure should provide you with enough information to make an informed decision about whether or not to have the procedure.

That means having a consultation where you are not rushed and are able to ask questions. Your consultation should also be with the Doctor/Surgeon who will be doing your procedure, not by a Nurse or Sales Consultant of the practice.

Consumers should be provided with at least the following information:

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • Is the procedure new or experimental?
  • What products are being used in the procedure and are these products registered?
  • What are the range of possible outcomes of the procedure?
  • What are the risks and possible complications associated with the procedure?

So that’s a whole lot of advice, but what does it all mean?

Basically it just means go to a reputable, honest and law-abiding Clinic which is professional in its treatment of you; is clean and hygienic and uses the proper protective equipment and instrument sterilisation.

When it comes to Cosmetic Surgery procedures, the law requires that you as a consumer MUST be assessed by the Medical Practitioner (i.e. the Doctor/Surgeon) of the clinic who will perform the procedure. You should not be assessed only by a Nurse or another Staff Employee.

An additional way of protecting yourself when considering Cosmetic Surgery is to ask the Medical Practitioner about their qualifications, training and relevant experience in the procedure you are considering. You are entitled to ask this!

One other thing to always keep in mind when comparing prices of cosmetic enhancements and procedures, always remember to compare QUALITY also!

Don’t be caught into spending less now and then needing much more to fix it later – and that’s if it is fixable.

If you can’t afford to have the procedure, treatment or surgery with a reputable Clinic, the next best thing to do is wait until you can!

About the Author

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Laurin

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