The NSW Government has moved to tighten regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry after a number of patients were rushed to hospital following breast enlargement surgery.
Several patients have been transferred to hospital following procedures at private cosmetic surgery clinics in the last two years and at least three clinics are being investigated by the Health Care Complaints Commission.
The patients include Wollongong woman Krystle Morgan, whose lung was punctured during a breast enlargement at The Cosmetic Institute in Bondi last year and Amy Rickhuss, who went into cardiac arrest at the same company’s Parramatta clinic in January.
Doctors do not need to have specialised in plastic surgery to perform cosmetic surgery in NSW. Cosmetic surgery practices only need to be licensed by the Private Health Facilities Act if patients are administered sedation that renders a patient unconscious or use certain types of anaesthetic.
A discussion paper that has been posted to the NSW Health website invites the public, stakeholders and industry for their views on whether a new class of regulation should be developed and how it should be defined.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner said her department was considering if further legislation of the cosmetic industry was required.
“Patient safety is paramount,” Mrs Skinner said.
“The discussion paper will assess whether current licensing requirements for facilities are adequate to protect patients.”
The Medical Board of Australia is also reviewing the billion-dollar industry.
The Cosmetic Institute has declined to comment on individual cases, citing patient confidentiality, but has said its record is overwhelmingly one of safety.