The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has published a six point plan aimed to show how steps may be taken to improve the regulation of the cosmetic industry. Following the recent concerns over possible rupturing of breast implants made by the former French Company Poly Implant Prosthèse (PIP) greater attention has been drawn to the lack of regulation in this highly commoditized area of surgery.
The proposals call for a ban on the advertising of all cosmetic surgery in a bid to tackle the increasing amount of people going 'under the knife' for purely cosmetic purposes. They also call for mandatory annual checks to be made upon all plastic surgeons as part of their continuing professional development.
This is particularly apt at a time when the Health and Social Care Bill is set to shift the basis of the NHS as an institution delivered by public bodies to a much more market oriented system of independent providers. Potentially unscrupulous effects of such a market, guided by efficiency and value can perhaps be seen by the fact that many leading private clinics have refused to replace women's implants which is inevitably set to cause such clients distress and a sense of injustice. Furthermore one clinic in Birmingham has even gone so far as to waive the legal rights of clients to sue the clinic, in exchange for receiving a discount on replacement surgery.
It is clear that something needs to be done to enforce a tighter scheme of regulation in this area where consumers appear to be being given less than satisfactory treatment by such powerful and large corporations.
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