Public Warning under s94A of the Health Care Complaints Act - Unsafe and Illegal Practices at Beauty and Cosmetic Clinics

28 Sep 2017

The Health Care Complaints Commission has issued a public warning under s94A of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 regarding unsafe and illegal practices at beauty and cosmetic clinics.

The Commission is concerned about complaints regarding cosmetic procedures being undertaken in cosmetic clinics and the risks to the health and safety of people attending those clinics.

The Commission is also involved in joint operations with the NSW Ministry of Health’s Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit to inspect beauty/cosmetic clinics in a number of areas across Sydney to examine their operations and identify and address any areas of non-compliance.

In NSW consumers are increasingly spending money on a range of cosmetic services. These services include a range of skin penetration procedures including micro-needling and Platelet Rich Plasma treatment, non-surgical breast and hip enhancements, nose bridge lifts, double eyelid suturing and anti-ageing facial treatments. The procedures often include the administration of Schedule 4 prescription-only medication including Botox and Dermal fillers, in addition to anaesthetic medications.

The issues raised in the complaints included:

  • the use of products and devices that are not on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), which have been unlawfully imported from countries such as China and South Korea
  • the administration of medications by non-registered and unqualified persons, when these medications must be prescribed to the patient by a registered medical practitioner.
  • Consumers who receive treatment in these circumstances are taking unnecessary risks that could ultimately lead to life changing injuries or, as in the recent tragic incident at a Chippendale beauty clinic, even death.

    The Commission strongly urges those individuals seeking cosmetic procedures or cosmetic surgery to be vigilant in their research prior to proceeding. In all cases, the following factors should be considered before committing to the procedure or surgery:

    • Is the procedure supported by a practitioner who is appropriately qualified, experienced and accredited?
    • Is the facility appropriately registered, infection controlled and equipped?
    • Are you having cosmetic surgery and what are the regulatory requirements for it?
    • Are you appropriately informed in terms of what the procedure involves, its possible outcomes and the risks and complications?

    Further Information

    For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

    The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.