New laws to crack down on cosmetic cowboys

Published Tuesday, 12 September, 2023 at 04:26 PM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Surgeons) Amendment Bill 2023 has been passed by Queensland Parliament
  • The amendments will strengthen the regulation of cosmetic surgery in Australia and increase public protection
  • Penalties for incorrect use of the title “surgeon” include up to three years in prison and a $60,000 fine.

The Queensland Government has passed an amendment to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 aimed at safeguarding Australians against “cosmetic cowboys”.

Changes to the national law — which is hosted by Queensland — will protect the title of ‘surgeon’ within the medical profession.

These changes mean only qualified doctors with significant surgical training can use the title ‘surgeon’ when promoting and conducting their services.

Doctors who use the title without having completed the appropriate accredited surgical training will face up to three years in prison and a $60,000 fine.

Other measures being taken to better regulate the cosmetic surgery industry include new licensing standards for private facilities and establishing a credentialing system to endorse qualified providers.

The Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency is also moving to introduce stronger laws around advertising and the use of online influencers and brand ambassadors to promote cosmetic procedures.

With support from all state and territory Health Ministers, the Bill was introduced to Queensland Parliament in April 2023, before being referred to Queensland Parliament’s Health and Environment Committee for consideration.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman:

“The passage of this bill is incredibly important. It will help protect Queenslanders, and all Australians, from potentially unsafe cosmetic surgery.

“This amendment was made in response to patient concerns over the lack of regulation and oversight in the cosmetic surgery industry.

“Now that this Bill has passed, it means that medical practitioners are only be able to use the title ‘surgeon’ if they possess the advanced surgical training and qualifications most people would reasonably expect.

“Prior to this amendment, any medical practitioner was able to promote themselves as a cosmetic or aesthetic surgeon, regardless of their qualifications and level of training.

“This is just another way the Queensland Government is protecting the health and safety of all Queenslanders.”


Media Contact - Phoenix Campbell 0439 949 719