Trish Hammond: I’m here today with Dr. Mary Dingley from the Cosmetic Medicine Centre in Brisbane. We’re just going to have a bit of a chat about laser safety and what to be careful as a consumer, like how you know you’re going to someone that’s been properly trained and going to look after you.
Thank you so much for taking the time today.
Mary: You’re very welcome.
Trish Hammond: Can you tell us a little bit about laser safety around Australia, basically? How the consumer can know that they’re going somewhere that they’re going to be looked after and not damaged in some way?
Mary: Well the laser regulations do vary very widely across the states of Australia, so there’s no uniform regulation. It’s one of the things that we’re trying to get together, so that everybody will be of a certain standard around the country, but realistically for ARPANSA, who is the governing body, to get that together it’s going to take many, many years. At the moment there are some regulations in states like Queensland, which is where I come from, but say New South Wales and Victoria there really are no regulations at all as to who can own and operate a laser.
Your best bet is to go to someone that you can really, really trust, and is going to take some responsibility for what they do. If you go to a medical practitioner, a doctor, they have to keep up their standards. They have to keep their own training and their own continuing medical education going. They are also able and must take responsibility for what they do. Let’s face it, they need insurance as well which is going to cover you, the consumer, the patient, in the event of something unforeseen happening or whatever.
If you can then also look at that individual doctor and see that they are a member of a society or a college, like the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia, which focuses on those areas of cosmetic medicine which includes laser treatments and so on, then you know that you’re going to see someone whose focus is exactly what you’re getting done. You’re not just going down the street to someone who happens to have a machine that they’re going to try to make do the job that you want done. You’re going to someone who is going to be able to assess your individual problem, give you advice as to what your options are, and have the appropriate equipment to do the job. If they don’t, they have a network of colleagues to whom they can refer. Say if I don’t have the particular equipment that is going to do the best job for you, I know that Dr ABC-
Trish Hammond: Yep.
Mary: In the next suburb does have the right equipment. I can write a letter introducing you to him and away you go.
Trish Hammond: Basically you can’t become a member of the CPCA unless you’ve actually ticked all these boxes that includes things like that, like making sure that everything’s safe that you’re using, basically?
Mary: Yep. We do have different tiers of membership, so someone who is a Fellow like myself has passed certain standards. Then there are some tiers below that of people who are working their way through that. We have established a training program, so that people who would like to get into this area can then come and be trained by people who are experts in that area.
Trish Hammond: Great. All right, so if you’ve got any doubt whatsoever, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and if we don’t know, we will actually contact the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia and let you know.
Thank you so much for taking the time talking today.