Ban on vanity surgery
Instead, the 2000 patients awaiting nip'n'tuck cosmetic procedures
will be forced to shop around private health facilities to have their
"Unless there is a legitimate medical reason, I don't see why NSW
taxpayers should be funding these types of surgery," Health Minister
John Hatzistergos said.
"Most cosmetic surgery should ideally be undertaken within specialist private health facilities.
"By reducing clinically unnecessary procedures, doctors will be
ensuring more surgery time for people with real health needs," Mr
The new elective surgery policy will be announced today by Mr
Hatzistergos in a dramatic move to streamline waiting lists and give
priority to patients queueing for procedures such as hip and knee
replacements, cataract removal and gallstone surgery.
He said a range of cosmetic and discretionary procedures would not
be performed by hard-pressed surgical teams unless there was a clear
need to improve the physical health of a patient.
The new policy was developed by the NSW surgical services task force
chaired by surgeon Pat Cregan, who has been conducting an extensive
review of the management of waiting lists and surgical services in
NSW becomes the second state after Western Australia to introduce
this tough approach to cosmetic surgery procedures and prioritise
public health operations.
"The community wants consistency, transparency and accountability in
all aspects of health care, including the management of waiting lists,"
Mr Hatzistergos said.
"Cosmetic surgery should ideally be undertaken in specialist private health facilities."
He said there were some reconstructive cosmetic procedures that
would still take place in public hospitals, to help people who have
suffered disfigurement as a result of trauma or burns.
* Total rhinoplasty - repairing major facial trauma including congenital abnormalities;
* Bilateral breast reduction - where irregular sized and oversized breasts cause severe disability; and
* Hair transplants - replacing hair loss due to severe burns.
Mr Hatzistergos will also announce that NSW Health will adopt the
national standard of waiting list clinical priority, which introduces
four categories for surgery.