Recently, New South Wales legislation was amended to enforce that any facility undertaking certain cosmetic procedures must be licensed. Further, the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) issued guidelines for cosmetic procedures. These regulations followed an increase in adverse events, risking patient health and safety, exemplified in a report about Australia’s largest cosmetic surgery provider, The Cosmetic Institute.
Differences between licensed and unlicensed facilities are not obvious. The availability of private health insurance and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) rebates at licensed facilities does not serve to differentiate, as purely cosmetic procedures do not attract such benefits. Unlicensed facilities are not even required to meet recommended infection prevention and control standards, such as the The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ (RACGP’s) Infection prevention and control standards for general practices and other office-based and community-based practices.