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Crackdown on cosmetic cowboys


The Queensland Government has enacted a vital amendment to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, with the primary objective of shielding the Australian populace from unqualified and unscrupulous individuals in the field of cosmetic surgery. This action is in response to concerns about what has been colloquially referred to as "cosmetic cowboys."

These amendments serve to fortify the oversight of cosmetic surgery practices throughout Australia, enhancing the safety of the public.

The legislation now imposes penalties of up to three years of imprisonment and a $60,000 fine for the misuse of the professional title "surgeon."

These legislative revisions, applied nationally but facilitated by Queensland, have been designed to safeguard the prestigious title of 'surgeon' within the medical community. As a result of these changes, only duly qualified medical professionals with substantial surgical training will be permitted to employ the title 'surgeon' in their promotional and professional endeavours.

Medical practitioners who wrongfully assume this title without completing the requisite accredited surgical training now face the prospect of imprisonment for up to three years and a financial penalty of $60,000.

In addition to these pivotal changes, the cosmetic surgery industry will undergo further enhancements in regulatory standards. This includes the implementation of new licensing criteria for private facilities and the establishment of a credentialing system to endorse qualified providers.

Moreover, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency is taking significant steps to strengthen laws concerning advertising practices, particularly focusing on the use of online influencers and brand ambassadors to promote cosmetic procedures.

This comprehensive Bill, which garnered unanimous support from Health Ministers across all states and territories, was initially introduced in the Queensland Parliament in April 2023. Subsequently, it underwent thorough examination by Queensland Parliament's Health and Environment Committee before receiving legislative approval.

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