Government reinstates ban on testimonials for cosmetic surgery

ASAPS has won its fight to reinstate a ban on testimonials for cosmetic surgery

Australia, 14th October 2022: The government has reversed its dangerous decision to remove a ban on using testimonials in medical advertising, in a win for patient safety around the country.

The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law now states that it is against the law to use testimonials, a decision welcomed by the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS).

The decision to lift the ban was first proposed in February as part of a suite of amendments to the National Law, backed by state and territory health ministers.

Several concerns were raised about the change by stakeholders and medical experts, particularly in relation to advertisements about cosmetic surgery and procedures.

Dr Tim Edwards, President, ASAPS said: “When the regulator supported the overturning of the existing ban on testimonials earlier this year, the medical community was aghast.

“Amidst all the shocking reporting we have seen on the ‘cosmetic cowboys’, the use of social media to target and manipulate young women, in particular, has been a common thread,” he continued.

“Any weakening of restrictions around testimonials in advertising will contribute to a culture of misinformation and deceit that is already plaguing the poorly regulated cosmetic surgery sector and contributing to patient harm.

“Soliciting and influencing reviews and testimonials leaves room for manipulation, deception, coercion, false advertising, and can be misused as a tool to put profits before people.

“Testimonials should never be used for surgical procedures as they influence decisions and can also be manipulated or bribed. Allowing testimonials when there are so many patient safety concerns in this space is simply not in the best interest of patients.”

Testimonials are just one of the ways in which fraudulent cosmetic surgeons are pulling the wool over patients’ eyes, resulting in avoidable complications and poor patient outcomes. False advertising results in practitioners carrying out procedures under the fake title of ‘cosmetic surgeon’ in order to broaden their services and appeal to a wider consumer audience.

Research from ASAPS shows 81% of Australians believe the title ‘cosmetic surgeon’ implies that the doctor is a registered specialist.


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ASAPS note to editors: The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) is the peak body for plastic surgeons in Australia and New Zealand, whose focus is aesthetic plastic surgery. ASAPS membership is exclusively composed of registered specialist plastic surgeons with world-class expertise in cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine.

ASAPS members are registered as specialists in plastic surgery by the medical councils of Australia and New Zealand, having undergone the foremost levels of Australian Medical Council accredited training through RACS . All ASAPS members are fellows of RACS and are highly qualified and trained to perform world-class cosmetic surgery procedures.

ASAPS’ have led a campaign called ‘Know The Difference’ since October 2020: the campaign urges the public to know the difference between those who falsely claim to be registered surgeons by using the fabricated title of cosmetic surgeon, and the only practitioners who are appropriately qualified to be performing cosmetic surgery and registered as specialists in plastic surgery.

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For more information or media enquiries, contact: Lucy Clark

[email protected] or +61 420 872 102