Cosmetic surgery crackdown: Urgent action needed by states to protect patients, surgeons say.

By medical reporter Sophie Scott and the National Reporting Team’s Rebecca Armitage

Leading surgeons say state and territory health authorities urgently need to tighten regulations governing where anaesthetics can be used, to protect cosmetic surgery patients.

It comes in the wake of a major crackdown by the Medical Board into doctors performing cosmetic surgery.

The changes include a seven-day cooling off period for patients considering procedures, more safeguards for people under 18 seeking surgeries and more onus on doctors to provide post-operative care.

But the Medical Board has no authority over where and when anaesthetic drugs can be used.

Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons spokesman Professor Mark Ashton said patient safety had been put at risk because some doctors were using strong anaesthetics at inappropriate clinic facilities.

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“We would like to see the Medical Board partner with state health departments to clamp down on day surgery facilities where many of these operators perform their surgeries,” he said.

Last month, the ABC revealed details of an explosive leaked report which found patients at one of Australia’s most popular cosmetic surgery clinics were being knocked out without their consent.

Professor Ashton said the new Medical Board guidelines were a good first step but needed to go further.

“Some of the day clinics are doing surgical procedures far beyond anything that anyone had intended,” he said.

The New South Wales Government is looking at tightening licensing regulations to stop cosmetic surgeons carrying out procedures in non-hospital settings.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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