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How surgical cosmetic procedure regulations impact your practice

From 1 January 2018, legislative changes will mean a number of surgical cosmetic procedures will be required to take place in licensed premises. The information below will help practitioners understand how these changes will impact on their practice, including whether they need to apply for a licence.

Why should my facility be licensed?

The Private Health Facilities Act 1999 requires that all procedures involving the administration of general, spinal or epidural anaesthetic, or sedation greater than simple sedation, be performed on licensed premises.

Performing or allowing the performance of procedures that are prescribed by the Act on unlicensed premises is an offence punishable by a 1,000 penalty unit fine. A licensed facility is referred to in the Act as a day hospital, a definition of which is at section 10(1).

The Private Health Facilities Regulation lists additional, specific procedures that must be performed on licensed premises, regardless of the type of the type of anaesthesia/sedation involved. The list can be found at section 3 of the Regulation.

Do I need to apply for a licence?

Information for procedures being provided in an unlicensed facility (PDF 1927 kB)

Information for procedures being provided in a licensed private health facility (PDF 1972 kB)

Information for facilities providing surgical cosmetic procedures

What are the prescribed procedures?

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 standards do I need to meet?

In order to operate as a licensed private health facility it is necessary to:

  • Achieve the minimum standards outlined for state licensing purposes. Specifically, this requires facilities and licensees to meet and adhere to the Private Health Facility standards, which includes the requirements to:
    • Comply with relevant Queensland Development Code requirements (Physical Environment Standard). Please note that where the administration of more than simple sedation is taking place, the building must be certified as a type 9A.
    • Comply with current Queensland Fire Services requirements for the building type (Physical Environment Standard)
    • Meet the minimum requirements outlined by the Clinical Services Capability Framework for the services provided (Specialty Health Services Standard)
  • Gain (interim) accreditation against the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

What modules should I be licensed for?

In order to perform the prescribed surgical cosmetic procedures, facilities will need to be licensed to deliver ‘Perioperative Day Surgery Services – level 3’, and the attendant support services listed within the module, as described in the Clinical Services Capability Framework or Surgical Services – level 3.

Can I continue to provide services in my rooms?

Practitioners may choose to seek licensing for their current rooms; however they will need to meet the relevant requirements.

For procedures where more than simple sedation is administered, the building type must be specified as 9A by building certifiers and have a procedure room/operating theatre of 30m2, exclusive of fixtures and fittings.

For procedures where only simple sedation is administered, the building type may be specified as 3, 5 or 9A by building certifiers and have a procedure room/operating theatre of 25m2, exclusive of fixtures and fittings.

In either case, a first stage recovery bay (at least 2.7m wide) will be required.

In addition, you should be mindful of the requirement to meet AS/NZS4187:2014 - Reprocessing of reusable medical devices in health service organisations. Separate ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ areas are required. If it is not possible to accommodate this in your rooms, you may wish to consider outsourcing this part of your business or using single use equipment.

Last updated: 20 October 2017

Private Health Regulation Team

Contact the Private Health Regulation Team with any queries you may have regarding licensing:

Phone: 3708 5325
Fax: 3708 5431