Cosmetic surgery business closure sparks MP’s move to seek stricter government legislation

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Cosmetic surgery business, The Hospital Group, entered administration last month after HM Revenue & Customs ordered the payment of historic VAT liabilities totalling £8.2 million.

The closure of the business has left women who claim to have undergone botched plastic surgery with the company in fear of losing any due compensation.

Reportedly, the business has been bought out by a German private equity firm that’s now created its own holding company – a move that could leave victims left wanting when it come to any pay outs despite the business still operating.

Dawn Knight says she was left in constant discomfort following an eyelift operation via The Hospital group in 2012.

A constituent of Labour MP Kevan Jones, he has now introduced a private members bill for better regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry in reaction to the situation.

His Cosmetic Surgery (Standards of Practice) Bill 2016-17 was introduced to Parliament on 19 October under the Ten Minute Rule.

The bill aims to:
• Make provision about the training, qualifications and certification of medical practitioners conducting cosmetic surgical procedures
• Establish a code of practice for the provision of information to patients on the options and risks in relation to such procedures
• Make provision about permissible treatments and the advertising of such treatments; and for connected purposes.

Mr Jones told Parliament: ‘Although Hospital Medical Group promotes itself as a cosmetic surgery company, it is nothing of the sort. It is a facilities management company, simply providing the facilities where surgery takes place and marketing the procedures. When Dawn complained, she found out that her contract was not with Hospital Medical Group but with the surgeon who performed the procedure.

‘In Dawn’s case, her surgeon was a bankrupt, under-insured individual who was based in Italy and flew into the UK to work for Hospital Medical Group.’

Consultant plastic surgeon Marc Pacifico told comparethetreatment.com last month: ‘’I regularly see patients who have been abroad for cosmetic tourism, and then suffered poorly managed complications. I also see patients who have been “treated” by unlicensed and unregulated practitioners in the UK, who fully fit the FIFO (fly in fly out) description, and leave without taking proper care of their patients, who are left languishing with on-going problems.’

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) believes the EU exit offers us the perfect opportunity to ‘clean up cosmetic surgery’.

Marc Pacifico adds: ‘Brexit presents an opportunity to prevent the FIFO practitioners from practising in the UK, but only as long as we institute the much-needed regulation in both the cosmetic surgery and cosmetic medical procedure arenas.’

The Bill is expected to have its second reading debate on 24 March 2017.

Meanwhile, proposals for short-term courses for cosmetic surgery procedures have received a global ‘thumbs down’.

Cosmetic practitioners around the world have attacked plans by Thailand’s medical council to approve short-term courses for aesthetic surgery.

The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) has contacted the council requesting it reverses the decision, suggesting the move could lead to more specialists performing various forms of cosmetic surgery that will lead to increased complication rates.

www.bangkokpost.com reports that ISAPS president Renato Saltz said the organisation is opposed to any proposed changes reducing the length or scope of training.
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