Cosmetic surgery regulations help protect UK patients

The Royal Society of Medicine is looking out for the needs of patients by encouraging the adoption of stricter regulations for cosmetic surgery in the UK.The International Medical Travel Journal reports that the Royal Society has published a special journal detailing the risks involved with unregulated plastic surgery. The journal explains that tighter regulations are needed to ensure that patients are only treated by qualified surgeons, who offer sufficient advice and after-care services. Dr Harvey Marcovitch, who organised the publication, explains: "Patient safety is this journalís main aim and there can be no area of medicine where patients in the UK are more in need of protection. We need tight control of advertising of cosmetic surgery, including internet advertising. We need proper regulation of the industry and we need both surgeons and GPs to manage patient expectation." Included in the journal is a report from Nigel Mercer of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Mr Mercer explains: "Regulations governing the training of all cosmetic surgeons are sorely needed. Governments are reluctant to become involved, as they see this issue as a dispute between various physician groups and not a public safety or patient safety issue. Since by law any physician is allowed to practice cosmetic surgery, attempts by individual physicians or plastic surgery organisations to restrict those who are not qualified is viewed as a restraint of trade." A number of cosmetic surgery treatments are already regulated in the UK, though some, such as Botox, are in need of stricter control to ensure that patients are only being treated by qualified surgeons in recognised clinics.