Source from: NewStraitsTimes, https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/10/636756/cosmetic-surgery-best-left-doctors
Cosmetic Surgery BEST Left to Doctors
LETTERS: The Main Credentialing and Privileging Committee of Aesthetic Medical Practice, which consists of doctors from the Health Ministry’s medical practice division, aesthetic medical practitioners, dermatologists and plastic surgeons, has been tasked to regulate aesthetic medicine in the country.
To ensure public safety and to uphold professional standards, a set of guidelines on aesthetic medical practice was developed and implemented in June 2013. With the implementation of these guidelines, only medical practitioners with a Letter of Credentialing and Privileging (LCP) are allowed to carry out aesthetic procedures.
These procedures should also be performed in a licensed facility equipped with sterilised equipment and an emergency trolley. They should not be performed in a beauty centre or a person’s home. One can’t exactly bake a cake in a garage!
There have been instances where doctors performed aesthetic procedures outside their expertise or have not conformed to codes of ethical conduct, which have resulted in complications. However, many of these cases have been highlighted through proper regulations and enforcement.
This has helped to identify the offending doctors and allowed disciplinary action to be taken. Then, there is the question of non-medical practitioners, who have no training at all.
For the most part, there are no educational requirements in aesthetic medicine that need to be fulfilled, no uniform professional standards or codes of conduct, and no governing body to whom the public can direct their complaints to.
The recent tragic death of a young model during a liposuction performed by a non-medical practitioner at a beauty centre is an example of the dire consequences when procedures are carried out by an untrained person.
Doctors are taught to take precautions to minimise the risk of complications and are trained to recognise and deal with complications that may occur. They are licensed to prescribe antibiotics if an infection occurs.
They can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation should an allergic reaction occur due to an anaesthetic drug. A non-medical practitioner simply cannot do all these!
Persatuan Dermatologi Malaysia urges the authorities and the government to come together to regulate aesthetic practices among non-medical practitioners like beauticians. They should be prohibited from carrying out invasive procedures, especially when it involves injections.
To quote our Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah following an interview on the Guidelines of Aesthetic Medical Practice for Medical Practitioners: “Beauticians or those with no medical qualifications cannot inject dermal fillers or perform thread lift procedures.”
So how can the public know how to access aesthetic procedures from a qualified doctor? Here are some tips: Refer to the Health Ministry website at www.moh.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/2118; Cheap does not always mean value for money. If the consultations and treatments are cheap, the quality of the equipment and experience of the practitioner may be questionable; Never believe what you read online.
Always remember that ethical medical professionals do not advertise themselves by using testimonials, and most of these websites have not been vetted; and, Trust your instincts! If something doesn’t feel right about the place or person, just walk away.
Datuk Dr Noor Zalmy Azizan
President, Persatuan Dermatologi Malaysia, Member of the Main Credentialing and Privileging Committee of Aesthetic Medical Practice