Beauty Surgical procedure Session begins in Victoria

All Australians will be invited to take part in a national consultation on the use of the title ‘surgeon’ by medical professionals, with Victoria leading the way.

The consultation will seek feedback due to concerns that calling physicians “surgeon” and “cosmetic surgeon” – whether specialist surgeons or other non-physicians – can create confusion and lead to poor patient outcomes.

Currently, doctors in Australia can use the title of ‘surgeon’ in their practice whether they have completed entry-level surgical training or advanced accredited surgical qualifications. Because the Occupational Title Act does not protect the designation “surgeon” as an independent designation.

To solicit responses from the public on this issue, a Consultation Statement on the Impact of the Regulation (RIS) has been developed and will run from mid-December to 1 April 2021.

Victoria, with the support of all health ministers, proposes four main reform options for consideration:

Restriction of the title “surgeon” under national law, asking for feedback on who would be entitled to use it. Strengthening of the existing framework through administrative rather than legislative mechanisms. Carrying out large public information campaigns and/or increasing the provider’s liability for non-economic damages. Maintaining the status quo and existing regulatory and other instruments.

All members of the public are invited to provide feedback on their experiences anonymously, and contributions can be made directly to the Ministry of Health by professional organizations and individual practitioners. A number of information events for professional associations are also held.

The information provided in the anonymous survey and direct submissions will be used to identify the most effective policy responses to the issues raised during the consultation phase.

The proposed policy response is outlined in a decision RIS made publicly available. The RIS decision will explain the preferred implementation option and discuss potential implications for the public and medical community.

As stated by Health Secretary Martin Foley

“The serious harm recently uncovered in the cosmetic surgery industry is unacceptable and we wish to work with other jurisdictions to ensure it cannot continue to occur.”

“Health Ministers are concerned that many Australians may believe that all doctors using the title ‘surgeon’ have acquired comparable and necessary training and qualifications, when sometimes this is not the case.”

“We need as many people as possible to provide feedback so that all Australians can have confidence that they are getting the best possible results when visiting a surgeon.”

/Public release. This material from the original organization/author(s) may be post-date in nature and may be edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).

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