Agency proposes age limit on beauty patients

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) is proposing a special medical licence for practitioners wanting to carry out cosmetic surgery and an age limit of 18 for patients.

Agency proposes age limit on beauty patients

“The beauty industry is making a lot of money and is constantly growing,” said Karin Lindell, former national auditor and general secretary for the Swedish Consumers Agency (Konsumentverket) in a statement.

“At the same time, and compared to other European countries, patients in Sweden are not properly protected by law, therefore I propose new legislation.”

Lindell was appointed by the agency in September 2011 to review the industry. In her report she wrote that the patient safety in the beauty industry must be improved.

Cosmetic surgery is plastic surgery and other procedures carried out to improve looks, without there being a medical reason for why it is done.

In the new legislation proposed in the report, the professionals who carry out these procedures should be viewed as healthcare personnel, and therefore have the same responsibility and obligations as these.

“All those who carry out these types of procedures ought to have a special licence to do so. That would mean that the agency could demand not only that practitioners are medically trained but that they have a specialist licence and experience of that particular treatment,” Lindell said.

She also proposes that those who carry out these kinds of procedures without a licence should be liable for a fine or even a prison sentence. The same would apply if staff treated anyone under the age of 18.

According to the agency, the report will now be forwarded to the government to review the proposed new legislation.

TT/Rebecca Martin

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