Cosmetic Surgery Standards to Better Protect Patients
With the exponential growth of cosmetic surgery in recent years, The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) is currently developing the National Safety and Quality Cosmetic Surgery Standards (Cosmetic Surgery Standards).
The Cosmetic Surgery Standards have been developed for implementation in facilities where cosmetic surgery is performed, with the aim of providing a nationally consistent safety and quality framework to support service providers that perform cosmetic surgery. Independent assessment against the standards and the awarding of accreditation status provides confidence to the community that service providers have the proper safety and quality systems and processes in place to ensure the highest standards of care.
As of July 2023, the Cosmetic Surgery Standards are currently under review and are due to Health Minister for consideration in the third quarter of 2023.
What defines cosmetic surgery under the Cosmetic Surgery Standards?
Cosmetic surgery employs invasive surgical procedures such a physical removal or readjustment of organs or tissues to revise or change the appearance, colour, texture, structure or position of normal bodily features with the dominant purpose of achieving what the patient perceives to be a more desirable appearance.
Non-surgical cosmetic procedures do not involve cutting beneath the skin but may involve piercing the skin, including cosmetic injectables, thread lifts and laser treatments.
Who do the Cosmetic Surgery Standards apply to?
The new Cosmetic Surgery Standards apply to service providers and facilities where cosmetic surgery is performed for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons, and does not apply to facilities that only perform non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Service providers will need to contact the relevant governing body to determine if they are required to be accredited under these standards.
What health standards currently exist in Australia for cosmetic surgery?
Currently there are no national safety and quality cosmetic surgery standards in Australia.
While some facilities that carry out cosmetic surgery are accredited to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, this does vary between types of service providers in each state and territory.
The Cosmetic Surgery Standards will be aligned in structure and intent to the NSQHS Standards (second edition), which are implemented in all Australian hospitals and day procedure services. Once the Cosmetic Surgery Standards are finalised, the Commission will map the two sets of standards. Where a service provider is required to meet the NSQHS Standards, they will continue to be required to comply with the NSQHS Standards, plus a number of modules from the Cosmetic Surgery Standards as prescribed by the Commission. In this way, service providers will be considered to comply with both sets of standards.
What will the Cosmetic Surgery Standard cover?
The Cosmetic Surgery Standards are person-centred and describe the processes and structures that are needed to deliver safe and high-quality clinical care. They will focus on supporting service providers to embed clinical governance frameworks and consumer partnerships to ensure safe, high-quality care to patients. The Cosmetic Surgery Standards will also address clinical areas considered as high-risk, such as preventing and controlling infections.
How do I start my Cosmetic Surgery Standards accreditation?
Service providers that provide cosmetic surgery are to contact their state or territory Regulator, AHPRA or the Commission to determine whether they need to be accredited against the new Cosmetic Surgery Standards. Quality Innovation Performance Limited (QIP) can support you in your Cosmetic Surgery accreditation, however we are unable to advise if a service provider needs to be accredited under these standards. Please contact the relevant governing body for your State or Territory.
- ACT – https://www.health.act.gov.au/contact-us
- NSW – https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pages/contact.aspx
- NT – https://health.nt.gov.au/contact
- QLD – https://www.health.qld.gov.au/comments
- SA – https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/contact+us
- TAS – https://www.health.tas.gov.au/contact-us
- VIC – https://www.health.vic.gov.au/contact-us
- WA – https://www.health.wa.gov.au/About-us/Contact-us
- AHPRA – https://www.ahpra.gov.au/About-Ahpra/Contact-Us.aspx
- ACSQHC – https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/about-us/contact-us
As of July 2023, the Cosmetic Surgery Standard have not yet been released however QIP can accept expression of interest to assist you on your accreditation journey. Click here to register your interest.
To find out more about the ACSQHC Cosmetic Surgery Standards click here.
Cosmetic Surgery Standards vs Cosmetic Surgery Guidelines for Registered Medical Practitioners
The ACSQHC Cosmetic Surgery Standards are different from the Cosmetic Surgery Guidelines for Registered Medical Practitioners developed by the Medical Board of Australia. These guidelines apply to medical practitioners registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law who perform cosmetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
To read the Cosmetic Surgery Guidelines visit: https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/codes-guidelines-policies/cosmetic-medical-and-surgical-procedures-guidelines.aspx