Report released on the regulation of cosmetic surgeons

On 1 September 2022, the much-anticipated final report from the independent review of the regulation of medical practitioners who perform cosmetic surgery (Report) was released.

The Report had been commissioned by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), following intense media reporting of concerns raised about medical practitioners who operate within the cosmetic surgery sector.

The review was completed by an external expert panel with Mr Andrew Brown, former Health Ombudsman of Queensland, appointed as the Independent Reviewer.

The Report (accessible here) includes 16 recommendations pertaining to a broad range of regulatory matters, including:

  1. the establishment of an area of practice endorsement for cosmetic surgery;

  2. the management of notifications concerning cosmetic surgery and the making of mandatory and voluntary notifications regarding those practising in the cosmetic surgery sector;

  3. the revision of guidelines (such as "Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures" and the "Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service") or alternatively the publication of new material which clarifies the standards expected of practitioners practising in the cosmetic surgery sector; and

  4. advertising in cosmetic surgery and the use of technology to assist in monitoring and auditing advertising compliance in the cosmetic surgery sector.

AHPRA and the MBA have accepted all the 16 recommendations. We now wait with interest to see the extent and mechanisms by which these recommendations will be implemented.

For more information on the anticipated changes and their implications, please contact a member of our team.

Read more about the regulation of the health sector here.

All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.