Public urge placing tougher regulations over cosmetic surgery sector

According to an interim report by the NHS medical director leading the English review, Sir Bruce Keogh, public urge to tougher regulation over the cosmetic surgery industry to protect patients from more aggressive sales techniques.

Sir Bruce was asked by the health secretary Andrew Lansley last January after concerns were raised following the public outcry over faulty Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants to review the regulation and level of safety of products used in cosmetic surgery and the care provided to the patients in both post and pre-treatment environment. It is believed that up to 40,000 British women have the silicone implants done in private rather than on the NHS.

The final report is due in March 2013.

Sir Bruce told that the summary of responses “send a clear message that the current regulatory framework doesn’t do enough to support consumer rights or patient safety”.

The majority of the respondents out of 180 people consulted favored the tighter restrictions on advertising of cosmetic surgery.

The respondents also strongly supported the banning of financial incentives or time-limited and discount deals as they create undue pressure over the patients and emphasize on prices rather than quality.

The respondents also backed the banning of free consultation and told that risks associated with a specific type of cosmetic surgery should be clearly communicated with a patient before hand.

One of the women who bought PIP breast implants, Sabrina Elliott has told:  “I’ve paid nearly £4,000 to have harmful chemicals put into my body.

“Until I’m crippled in pain and immobilised [doctors] won’t remove them.”

Director of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service, Sally Tayber also backs most of the suggestions made in the review report and called the aggressive sales techniques as “totally inappropriate”. She has said that other bodies like the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) need to put tighter restrictions than the current regulations.

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