RACS welcomes the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Surgeons) Amendment Bill 2023 to protect the title ‘surgeon’ within the medical profession so as to ‘safeguard the public and strengthen the regulation of cosmetic surgery in Australia’.
RACS has long supported reform to the regulation of the title ‘surgeon’ for these purposes.
RACS is pleased that its position on which practitioners should be able access the title, which it formalised 2021, is generally reflected in the substance of the legislation.
The Queensland Parliament and commonwealth, state & territory health ministers are to be congratulated for moving this important reform forward.
However, RACS does hold some concerns about one aspect of the legislation; s115A (5)(e). This provision enables the Ministerial Council (commonwealth, state & territory health ministers) to prescribe another ‘class’ of medical practitioners as being a ‘surgical class’, thus granting the class access to the title ‘surgeon’.
A separate, but related reform agreed to by health ministers when they agreed to this legislation is the establishment of an ‘endorsement for cosmetic surgery’.
In submissions to various bodies in relation to the establishment of this ‘endorsement’, RACS has expressed the concern that surgical training programs may be accredited at lower standards than those required of specialty surgical training programs.