NSW Police are on the hunt for an unlicensed electrician ‘syndicate’ offering Sydney customers dodgy wiring and unauthorised access to the electricity grid. Dr Naveen Somia, President of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) questions why is it illegal for unlicensed electricians to work on your house, but legal for untrained doctors to perform surgery?
“This scenario sounds all too familiar.
“The ‘syndicate’ of unlicensed electricians preying on unsuspecting customers can be likened to the situation we are all too familiar with where doctors are claiming to be ‘surgeons’ lure in patients for Cosmetic Surgery, where often more harm is done than good. It shouldn’t take the death of an innocent victim for the Government to act,” Dr Somia said.
The recent ABC Four Corners program ‘Beauty’s New Normal’ showcased just how bad the situation is. Many of the women who came forward to share their horror stories are now living with permanent disfigurement, having overcome severe infections and illness and one who was heavily in debt because of the costs associated with fixing the repair caused to her by an underqualified doctor who claimed to be a surgeon.
“The lack of truth and transparency in Cosmetic Surgery advertising have confused patients who cannot tell who is a fake surgeon and who is a real surgeon.
“We recommend that you check if your doctor is registered by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as a Specialist in Plastic Surgery,” Dr Somia said.
The NSW Government, also concerned about patient safety in cosmetic surgery has launched an inquiry into the sector by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC).
“We can only hope that the real action will be taken to protect patient safety.
“People who are drumming up business with fake qualifications and claiming to have skills they don’t, risk patient safety and are in serious breach of the law.
“What we need is stricter enforcement of the rules and bigger penalties for breaking the rules. Change is desperately needed now to drive the unethical, and dangerous operators out ” Dr Somia said.
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