Australians have every right to assume that when they receive a medical procedure, it is performed by an appropriately accredited medical professional.
Following media investigations and reporting, it is clear that horrific incidents of malpractice cosmetic surgery is occurring in Australia.
As Professor Ashton writes in the Sydney Morning Herald today, “The only way to mitigate, but not eliminate this risk is to ensure that the person who is about to operate upon a patient is properly trained and is actually a ‘surgeon’.”
That is why former Minister for Health Greg Hunt established a review into the terms ‘surgeon’ and ‘cosmetic surgeon’ in conjunction with state ministers in November 2021.
This review was commissioned to ensure that the laws and regulations surrounding cosmetic surgery are fit for purpose and to make recommendations about actions that state and territory governments can take to better protect the public.
This review was due to report in mid-2022, yet we still have not seen the findings of the review.
It is not good enough for Minister Butler to simply re-commit the Federal Government’s support for the review, he must outline when AHPRA expects the review will be finished, if he has questioned why the review is not yet finished, and commit to making the review public as soon as possible.
People who have been impacted by these disturbing practices have every right to demand that the review findings are made public and appropriate protections are put in place.
Minister Butler must be transparent with the public and the medical profession and explain what he will do to ensure state ministers continue to prioritise this issue, so further incidents like those highlighted by recent media investigations will not continue to occur.