26 Mar 2018

Cosmetic services complaints

Since 1 February 2017, the HCC has received more than 50 complaints relating to cosmetic procedures performed by general health service providers.

Commissioner Karen Cusack said the most common issues in these complaints were poor quality treatment or procedures not meeting expectations.

"We have been resolving many of these complaints through our voluntary complaint resolution process to get explanations, apologies, refunds or compensation, but for some it is more appropriate to conduct a formal investigation," Ms Cusack said.

The HCC recently announced an Interim Prohibition Order against Sparadise Medical & Cosmetic Clinic in Glen Waverley, meaning they can no longer provide certain services for 12 weeks while the HCC conducts further investigations. There are significant penalties for breaching a Prohibition Order.

"This action was triggered by a serious complaint from a consumer who visited the health service for a cosmetic procedure and had a very poor outcome," she said.

"I don’t take these prohibition orders lightly and will only use them in cases, such as this one, where I’m convinced it's necessary to avoid a serious risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public."

Ms Cusack said the case underlined the importance of consumers bringing their complaints forward so the HCC was aware of issues and able to take appropriate action.

The HCC replaced the former Health Services Commissioner with new powers and responsibilities under the Health Complaints Act 2016. The changes include expanded investigative powers and a general code of conduct for all general health services, meaning those not regulated by AHPRA.

The code outlines standards of safe and ethical healthcare and provides grounds for a complaint to, and possible further action by, the Commissioner.

"The general code of conduct brings consistent expectations of standards for both providers and consumers across all healthcare professions," Ms Cusack said. "When these standards are not met we now have the power to take action."

If anyone has a complaint about cosmetic procedures or other healthcare received in Victoria please contact the HCC on 1300 582 113 or via the online complaint form.