KUALA LUMPUR, August 12 — The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) today called for stricter regulation of the aesthetics industry to prevent unregistered “professionals” from carrying out dental and surgical procedures.
The doctors’ group pointed out that medical doctors need extra credentials to provide aesthetic services and that doctors need specialist training to be registered plastic surgeons.
Dentists similarly undergo training for years before they can provide dental treatment, including orthodontic treatment. Professional assessments must also be conducted before deciding on treatment.
“Many beauticians have trained hard to be certified professionals. We urge the authorities to come down hard on the establishments which are marring the face of the beauty industry,” MMA president Dr Koh Kar Chai said in a statement.
“There is a line drawn to define what a beautician is allowed to do and in a broad sense, everyone knows that surgical procedures are prohibited. However, anecdotally, we still hear of aesthetic surgical procedures being done by persons claiming to be professionals. These procedures are claimed to be done in the beauty centres or at times, in hotel rooms.”
He added that unqualified individuals providing dental correction procedures can cause harm to their clients.
The Star reported last Friday Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Deputy Minister Rosol Wahid as saying that his ministry and the Ministry of Health (MOH) are engaging stakeholders to decide what services or procedures can be provided by beauticians, as the beauty industry is currently unregulated.
He told The Star that non-invasive procedures fell under KPDNHEP’s purview, but noted it was difficult to identify a particular procedure as invasive or not.
The English-language daily reported last July that by paying between RM1,000 and RM3,000, anyone could participate in a variety of short courses offered by some beauticians that ranged from braces application to whitening procedures, with starter kits given to participants at the end of the course.
The Star noted reports of botched cases of procedures offered in the beauty industry that led to permanent scarring or even death.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told a press conference yesterday that MOH would increase enforcement efforts against “fake doctors” offering dental procedures in aesthetics.
“One of the reasons as to why many, especially the young, resort to such activities is the high cost of orthodontic correction which can run into thousands of ringgit — charges that are out of the reach for the young,” Dr Koh said.
“We are pleased that the government is now taking steps to properly regulate the industry and is looking into the guidelines needed which outline the types of services allowed in a beauty establishment.”