Materia Medica Malaysiana

February 1, 2008

Doctors cannot use ‘aesthetic’ on signboards

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:55 am

NST: PUTRAJAYA: A rose by any other name may smell just as sweet but the saying certainly does not apply to Malaysian doctors.
The Health Ministry has decided not to allow medical practitioners to use the word “aesthetic” on signboards to describe themselves.
The most they can do is list down aesthetic procedures on their signboards — after approval from the ministry.
To date, 60 doctors have applied to practise aesthetic procedures with the ministry yet to decide on the matter.
Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the term “aesthetic specialist” was misleading as “there is no such entity in the medical field”.
“Clinics that offer such services must produce evidence that the doctor has specialised training that tallies with requirements set by the ministry’s medical practice division.
“If a doctor meets the standards and has an accredited certification, then we will allow him to offer the services. I must stress that doctors’ priority when treating patients is their safety. The ministry will not compromise on this.”
Dr Ismail said doctors must undergo a three-year sub-speciality course before operating on patients.
“Only then are they actually qualified to perform aesthetic surgeries,” he told a press conference.
He said patients had the right to choose the mode of treatment or procedures to be used for the purpose of improving their physical appearance and general well-being.
The decision comes in the wake of discussions between ministry officials and the Malaysian Medical Council, Malaysian Dental Council, Malaysian Medical Association, the Academy of Medicine Malaysia, Malaysian Association of Plastics, Aesthetic and Craniomaxillofacial Surgeons, Society for Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine Malaysia and Malaysian Society of Aesthetic Medicine.
The meeting was held following an increase in the number of botched cosmetic surgeries performed by unqualified people.
Dr Ismail said the meeting also decided to develop a structured training module for aesthetic practice.
“The relevant societies have expressed their willingness to develop the module.
“This will be beneficial to local medical practitioners interested in aesthetic practice by serving as an alternative to courses commonly conducted by foreign aesthetic experts,” he added.
He was aware of doctors who attended a three- to five- day course on aesthetic procedures before operating on patients.
Dr Ismail said problems over terminology used to describe doctors handling the aesthetic aspect of health would be resolved with the tabling of the Cosmetology Act in parliament later this year.
On the fate of the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on the wife of Labuan MP Datin Fatimah Wan Chik, Dr Ismail said he had been directed to submit his qualifications to the ministry.
“He has yet to submit them. We will have to ascertain if he had the proper qualifications and competency to perform cosmetic surgeries.”
He said checks were also being conducted on whether the doctors’s clinic in Klang had a licence to be used for such surgery.
Fatimah, who underwent surgery for removal of eyebags, a liposuction and a tummy tuck on Jan 9, is still in a coma at a private hospital here.

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