Medical board proposes new cosmetic surgery constraints

By Rosie Wilson

The Medical Board of Australia has proposed a set of new guidelines that, if approved, would mean prospective patients of cosmetic surgery have to wait a set amount of time for careful consideration before undergoing a procedure.

The new regulations would see all potential patients under the age of 18 undergo assessment by a registered psychologist or psychiatrist, before a mandatory ‘cooling off’ period of at least three months. Adults would also be required to sit a shorter cooling off period of seven days.

The drafted guidelines also include doctor accountability for postoperative care as standard, mandatory face-to-face consultations before prescribing injections like Botox and limits on where cosmetic procedures can be done.

The draft is a result of the “disturbing trend” of patients rushing into surgery before they are physically or emotionally unable to appreciate the risk.

Dr Joanna Flynn, Chairman for the Medical Board of Australia, said:

“We are looking for the best way to manage risk to patients without limiting or making judgements about consumer choices. We want to do what we can to keep the public safe, without imposing an unreasonable regulatory burden on practitioners.”

The Medical Board of Australia will release the draft guidelines on Tuesday 17 March.