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Cosmetic surgery licence call

COSMETIC surgeons are to have their profession scrutinised in Parliament after the Independent on Sunday reported that one in four practising in Britain have not been trained, writes Esther Oxford.

Ann Clwyd, MP for Cynon Valley, Wales, is to table a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the Commons on Tuesday. She is concerned that there is no register of cosmetic surgeons and wants guidelines introduced to regulate the industry.

The move was welcomed by the British Association of Plastic Surgeons. Magdy Saad, its president-elect, said: 'I am delighted. At the moment anyone can operate on an adult. You don't need to be a doctor or a specialist. This needs to be controlled.'

The General Medical Council also expressed support. 'Surgeons who practise cosmetic surgery without a training in plastic surgery should not be permitted,' said a spokesman.

More than 200 surgeons practise cosmetic surgery in Britain, but only 150 are fully qualified plastic surgeons. The rest are not recognised by the GMC. Yet they continue to thrive in private clinics.

The BAPS and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, both of which are recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons, believe that unqualified cosmetic surgeons should be banned: 'They are bringing plastic surgery into disrepute,' Mr Saad said. 'We find ourselves thinking: 'where did this person train?' God knows. Did they qualify? God knows. These people have no accreditation, no logbook, no references.'

But Colin Bishop, a member of the British Association of Cosmetic Surgeons, said this was just an attempt to filter away competition.