The IAPS (Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons) is calling for tighter regulation for the sector, specifically, demanding that doctors have to undergo specialist training before practising in plastic surgery. At the moment any qualified doctor can offer plastic surgery, and critics of this system argue that this does little to protect the patient.

At the time that British Association of Aesthetic Surgeons held their annual meeting in Dublin, outside London for the first time, the IAPS used the opportunity as a springboard to discuss changes in Irish law.

IAPS Secretary, Dr Peter Meagher commented that British law goes further than Irish law currently, and yet there are still issues surrounding training and regulation within British cosmetic surgery practice, as evidenced in the case of non-invasive treatments looked at in the Keogh Review. The view of the IAPS is that more often than not plastic surgeons in Ireland have not received specialist training and are “seldom or ever are on the specialist register” Dr Meagher said.

His concern is that patients who use unregulated clinics have no fall back if things go wrong. Often these are not even open round the clock, so patients have to rely on medical emergency care if they run in to problems following surgery.

Because of the lack of registration, Dr Meagher added that it was “hard to tell” how many patients may have suffered because of this, but that anecdotal evidence indicated that it was happening.