26 Oct 2021
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), the Medical Board of Australia and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, expect all registered health practitioners to practise in a safe and professional manner and we will act if we establish that they pose a risk to the public.
We are deeply concerned about information presented in last night’s Four Corners investigation into cosmetic surgery. We are urgently reviewing the material now available.
We would also like to clarify a few points about our role in regulating this area.
The title ‘cosmetic surgeon’ is not a protected title under the National Law. This means that we cannot legally prevent the use of the title. We do not have the power to change the law. That is a matter for Health Ministers, who have agreed to consult on changing the National Law to protect the title ‘surgeon’, including ‘cosmetic surgeon’ and we welcome that consultation.
If you think a registered health practitioner may pose a risk to the public, we want to know about it. Mandatory reporting obligations also apply to registered health practitioners and employers. You can call 1300 419 495 or lodge a notification online via the Ahpra website.
We are legally unable to comment on investigations underway.
In our work to keep patients and consumers of cosmetic procedures safe, we:
Some of the questions we suggest consumers think about are:
Concerns about practitioners in NSW and Queensland
There is co-regulation in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (Qld). In NSW, this means that concerns about practitioners in NSW are managed by the Health Care Complaints Commission and the relevant health professional council and not by Ahpra and the National Board. In Qld, the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) manages concerns about practitioners, retains the most serious matters and may refer other matters to Ahpra and a National Board.
Regulation of premises and drugs and poisons
We don’t regulate or inspect premises. Where relevant, we do work and share information with the state and territory jurisdictions that regulate private facilities such as day procedure centres. Each state and territory has drugs and poisons (or equivalent) legislation for schedule 4 (prescription only) medicines. For example, requirements relating to permits, supply, storage and transport.