Draft guidelines for cosmetic medical and surgical procedures

Cooling off periods for all patients and mandatory psychological assessment for patients under 18 years old are proposed in draft guidelines for cosmetic medical and surgical procedures proposed by the Medical Board of Australia.

The Board has launched a consultation seeking feedback on the best way to protect consumers seeking cosmetic medical and surgical procedures provided by medical practitioners. Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who provide cosmetic medical or surgical procedures are the Board’s preferred option for managing risk to patients. The guidelines propose:

  • a seven-day cooling off period for all adults before procedures
  • a three-month cooling off period before procedures for all under 18s, along with mandatory assessment by a registered psychologist or psychiatrist
  • explicit guidance on informed patient consent, including clear information about risks and possible complications
  • explicit responsibility for post-operative care by the treating practitioner, including emergency facilities when sedation or analgesia is involved
  • mandatory face-to-face consultations before prescribing schedule 4 (prescription only) cosmetic injectables
  • detailed written information about costs and
  • limits on where cosmetic procedures can be performed, to manage risk to patients.

The public consultation paper is available online.

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