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Cosmetic surgery health practitioners, patients, professional organisations and agencies are being encouraged to share their views and experiences as part of an independent review of the regulation of health practitioners in cosmetic surgery.

Commissioned by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and the Medical Board of Australia, the review, launched today, will seek to investigate what actions can better protect patients undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Priorities will include how to strengthen risk-based regulation of practitioners in the industry, keeping up to speed with rapid changes across the industry, and making recommendations that will better protect the public from unsafe practices or poor outcomes.

The Independent Reviewer, former Queensland Health Ombudsman Andrew Brown, said the review will look at what role Ahpra and the Medical Board can, and should, play in regulating medical practitioners who perform cosmetic surgery.

“We are particularly interested in understanding barriers to consumers, practitioners or their employees raising concerns about unsafe practices or unsatisfactory outcomes,” Mr Brown said.

“We will be examining how best Ahpra and the Medical Board should deal with concerns when they are raised. We also will be looking at what information consumers should be given about their procedures and other factors that may influence informed decision-making.”

Consumer submissions can be made via an online survey or via email: until 14 April. Practitioners, professional organisations and agencies are encouraged to email their responses to the questions in the consultation paper.

The Independent Reviewer will then make recommendations to Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia., with the report expected mid-2022.

Ahpra CEO, Martin Fletcher, said the outcome of the review would help inform how the regulator can better protect the public.

“The cosmetic surgery sector is growing and we want to ensure that patient safety comes first. While we are just one part of a system of checks and balances, we recognise we play a significant role alongside other regulators. We are always open to ways we can do better,” Mr Fletcher said.

The public consultation paper released today provides further detail on the focus of the review, supported by the Terms of Reference.