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Legislative changes to surgical cosmetic procedure regulations

From 1 January 2018, legislative changes to surgical cosmetic procedure regulations under the Private Health Facilities Act 1999 will be introduced, meaning prescribed cosmetic surgical procedures will be required to take place in licensed premises.

What is changing?

The Private Health Facilities Act 1999 requires that all procedures performed by a medical practitioner involving the administration of general, spinal or epidural anaesthetic, or sedation greater than simple sedation, be performed on licensed premises. These legislative changes will see cosmetic surgical procedures align with this regulation.

What procedures are affected?

A number of surgical cosmetic procedures, considered high risk, are affected by the change in the law. These procedures include:

  • abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
  • belt lipectomy (lower body lift)
  • biceps implants
  • brachioplasty (arm lift)
  • breast augmentation or reduction
  • buttock augmentation, reduction or lift
  • calf implants
  • deltoid implants
  • facelift, other than a mini-lift that does not involve the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS)
  • facial implants that involve
    • inserting an implant on the bone
    • surgical exposure to deep tissue
  • fat transfer of more than 500 millilitres of lipoaspirate
  • labiaplasty
  • liposuction that involves removing more than 2.5 litres of lipoaspirate
  • mastopexy or mastopexy augmentation (breast lift)
  • monsplasty
  • neck lift
  • pectoral implants
  • penis augmentation
  • rhinoplasty (nose job)
  • triceps implants
  • vaginoplasty.

As the change in law only relates to surgical procedures, non-surgical procedures such as injectables or fillers do not fall under these changes.

What does this mean for private health facilities?

Private health facilities may be approached by practitioners seeking licensed premises to carry out surgical cosmetic procedures.

The prescribed surgical cosmetic procedures may be performed in a licensed facility offering Level 3 Surgical Services, or Level 3—Perioperative—Day Surgery Services.

Facilities must remain aware of their responsibilities in relation to licensing and credentialing prior to allowing a practitioner to perform procedures in their facility. For more information on credentialing, please see:

What does this mean for health practitioners?

From 1 January 2018, it will be an offence to provide the prescribed procedures in unlicensed premises. Read more information on how to apply to be a licensed private health facility.

What does this mean for patients?

From 1 January 2018, cosmetic surgical procedures will have to be performed on licensed premises. This might mean that your doctor does not perform the procedure in his or her rooms (if they are not licensed), but at a licensed hospital instead.

How can I tell if my surgery will be safe?

All surgery carries a degree of risk. The changes to the law will mean that certain surgeries will have to take place in licensed facilities. Licensed facilities have to prove that they have effective procedures in place to address a range of risks, from clinical safety and infection control to fire safety.

Every licensed facility in Queensland has to display a copy of their licence, which lists the type of health services that may be delivered.  A licence should include ‘Perioperative - Day Surgery Services – Level 3’ or ‘Surgical Services – Level 3’ (or above).

You can also check your doctor and their qualifications on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s Register of Practitioners.

Last updated: 20 October 2017