Beauty salons – come out with laws not guidelines

In 2009 CAP had raised its concerns about the ugly side of beauty salons and the price one has to pay for beauty.  We had asked the government to ban surgeries and other risky procedures at beauty salons.

This call was made when there was a reported case of a death following a botched liposuction procedure – apparently as a result of allergic reaction to the anaesthetic that was administered on the customer.  The then Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Ismail Merican, was quoted as saying that the investigations revealed that the surgery was carried out by a surgeon.

It was not clear if the anaesthetic administered was a local or general anaesthetic, but surely, there should have been more precautions in place.  The case resulted in a pointless loss of life.  In addition, there have been number of reports of severe scarring of the face and other serious adverse outcomes following “treatment” at beauty salons.

In a media report today, the Ministry of Health was quoted as saying that it will be introducing guidelines next month on the do’s and don’ts for beauty industry, particularly involving invasive procedures.

It is a known factor that guidelines do not have enough bite; hence instead of guidelines the Ministry should come out with laws which will give the Ministry powers to prosecute these salons.

If there are only guidelines, consumers will have to take legal action or take their cases to the Consumer Claims Tribunal for monetary redress only. Moreover, the Tribunal does not have powers to prosecute the salons for the errors. It is unreasonable to put the burden on the consumer for problems caused by the beauty salons.

CAP also calls on the Ministry of Health for a thorough review of the procedures carried out at beauty salons, which seem to be getting way beyond the scope of proper expertise. These salons are not licensed as medical clinics or hospitals and there should be a limit to what is permitted to go on at these centres.

Procedures such as liposuction, tummy tucks, eye bag surgery, botox injections, surgical lifts and such; or those involving dangerous chemicals or anaesthesia at beauty salons should be banned by the Ministry of Health.

There should not loss of lives or tragedies resulting from visits to beauty salons.