Australians are now spending an estimated $1billion a year on cosmetic procedures. As we now live very much in an age of immediate and instant gratification, when it comes to plastic surgery in Australia this new, seven-day ‘cooling off’ period is just what consumers need according to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgery.
Dr Jeremy Hunt has worked with thousands of patients across his 15-year career and is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading plastic surgeons. This is reflected in his role as Spokesperson for the Australian Society of Plastic Surgery.
Along with the majority of respected plastic surgeons, he welcomes the Medical Board of Australia’s new range of measures. According to Dr Hunt, the new three month cooling off period that has now been implemented for all children under the age of 18 years is extremely important. And we agree. Teenagers can be influenced by social media and famous celebrities and fads; or affected by bullying, hormones and peer pressure, often resulting in quickly made decisions that they may regret down the track.
Dr Hunt also applauds the new rule that will require these vulnerable young patients under the age of 18 to undergo an evaluation by a registered psychiatrist, psychologist or general practitioner before proceeding with any elective cosmetic surgery. This will help identify and address any teens with self-esteem or body dysmorphia issues. Unfortunately, in patients with psychological image issues, plastic surgery does not usually help their confidence and in some cases can make it worse, or even spur an unhealthy and really damaging obsession with plastic surgery.
For both potential patients and medical practitioners, this new cooling-off period makes good sense. Dr Hunt believes these guidelines are designed to hopefully minimise some of the potentially serious complications during or after cosmetic procedures.
According to Dr Kane from the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Despite a growing number of reports in the media of poor or disastrous outcomes, and sadly, even deaths, people are still rushing into cosmetic surgery with little consideration for their safety, often putting financial considerations ahead of their health.”
Not only that, a cooling off period for both adults and children under 18 will mean that over-enthusiastic surgeons and practitioners won’t be able to “force” or coerce patients to sign off on any contracts or payment plans without reasonable consideration and giving patients the chance to compare pricing and procedures with another surgeon or practitioner.
The new guidelines will apply to all medical practitioners, including specialist plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and cosmetic physicians regardless of their individual qualifications when they take effect on October 1, 2016.
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