The CEN, the European Committee for Standardisation, recently accepted a proposal from the Austrian Standards Institute (ASI) to create plastic and cosmetic surgery standards for its member countries. This is in response to what is basically a lack of aesthetic standards in Europe overall, in order to put quality control on aestetic surgery practices. The organization cites the growing availability of travel, the Internet, and the numerous financial payment facilities that make medical tourism in relation to aesthetic surgery a huge business that is serious under-regulated.
Member states have not yet put in place adequate regulations or standards on how to provide these surgery services in a safe environment. In addition, consumers are not always fully aware of the risks associated with aesthetic surgery.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons last week announced its involvement in this standards initiative. Other organizations involved include in this project include the Care Quality Commission, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, and the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
After years of calling for tighter controls in cosmetic surgery in Britain, top UK surgeons recently provided key input at the new committee in Brussels, according to consulting plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Nigel Mercer, who last week attended the EASAPS (European Association of Societies of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) meeting in Germany where a vote was held in favour of establishing standards.
“The UK, as many other countries, has so far failed to put in place adequate regulations or standards to protect the public from unscrupulous providers who are mainly preoccupied with profit," Mercer says. "Therefore, I will be delighted to join the new Project Committee for Aesthetic Surgery Services and help design a solid Europe-wide framework which will ensure patients can rely on safe treatment and facilities wherever they might be.”