By Olga Oskman
Cosmetic surgeons could be banned from offering cheap breast implants in unlicensed clinics under new strict rules being considered by the NSW Government.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner has released a discussion paper canvassing new regulations on facilities carrying out cosmetic surgery.
“We will consider whether there is further regulation of the industry, whether it requires legislation or regulation to make it safer for patients,” she said.
It comes after the ABC highlighted the concerns of some doctors about botched procedures as well as the kind of anaesthetics some of the facilities are using.
Ambulances had to be called to one popular breast implant clinic, The Cosmetic Institute, to rush several young patients to hospital emergency departments.
At least one had suffered a cardiac arrest , while another had serious breathing problems.
The NSW Government is now considering whether there should be a new class of “cosmetic surgery” included in current laws, so that cosmetic procedures could only be undertaken in a licensed private health facility or hospital.
Cosmetic procedures that would have to be done in hospitals would include breast implants, buttock implants, tummy tucks, penis augmentation, liposuction, face lifts and neck lifts.
At the moment, many clinics are performing cosmetic procedures such as breast implants without full hospital resuscitation equipment.
Many health experts have told the ABC they do not believe it is safe for doctors in cosmetic clinics to be giving patients high doses of anaesthetics for procedures like breast implants.
The NSW Health Department appears to share the same concerns and is considering whether licensing facilities to carry out cosmetic surgery is the solution.
"There are good grounds to consider that private health facility licensing is required to manage these serious risks," the discussion paper said.