Thursday, 18th December 2014
- Issue of unregistered practitioners of cosmetic surgery considered by Health Committee.
- Advertising and regulation of cosmetic surgery must be reviewed and changed.
The advertising and regulation of cosmetic surgery must be reviewed as a matter of urgency and ultimately changed to protect people. Under the current regime the regulation of medical procedures is divided between numerous bodies. There is a need to examine if all of these strands can be brought together in the interests of patients.
It was truly shocking to hear at the Oireachtas Health Committee an example that a person with skin cancer was offered and underwent laser treatment in a beauty salon. Needless to say the procedure was ineffective and that proper medical treatment was still required. It is completely unacceptable that rogue operators can offer ineffective treatments for serious medical conditions. Action is needed so that those who are putting people’s health and lives at risk can be held responsible and prevented from continuing with their dangerous activities.
The way medical procedures are advertised is also a serious issue. Every medical treatment is serious and carries risks Advertising that trivialises treatments and makes it appear like any other consumer product potentially misleads patients. Financial inducements, ‘two for one’ deals and celebrity endorsements are not appropriate methods for advertising medical procedures. These practices can result in people undergoing unnecessary procedures without fully considering all consequences.
Medical procedures must be regulated in a way that places the patient’s needs front and centre. We must ensure that patients are suitable for the procedure and aware of the risks involved, that the practitioner is properly trained for the procedure being offered and that treatment takes place in safe premises. Unfortunately this does not always happen.