The Taipei City Government’s Department of Health yesterday said an inspection of 48 medical cosmetic clinics showed that six used false or inappropriate advertisements.
The department’s medical affairs division said it received 532 complaints related to medical disputes last year, 118, or 22.18 percent, of which were about medical cosmetology practices.
This prompted the department to conduct the survey to examine the advertisements of 48 aesthetic clinics. Of the six clinics that had exaggerated or deceitful publicity, four are still operating and two have closed down.
The advertisements included offering inappropriate discounts such as 10 percent off for students, or falsely offering the chance to win a trip abroad, the department said.
Medical Affairs Division chief Liu Yue-ping (劉越萍) said that the four cosmetology centers were repeat offenders regarding advertisement regulations and face fines of between NT$50,000 and NT$250,000 for “soliciting patients through improper means proclaimed and prohibited by the central competent authority,” as stipulated by the Medical Care Act (醫療法).
The division reminded people who are considering having cosmetic treatment to pay careful attention to three aspects: the clinic’s operating license, the doctor’s medical practice license and seek information from the medical staff about the use of any medical equipment, Liu said.
It also suggested a checklist of four requirements that should be met by the clinics before patients undergo treatment: whether the treatment is executed by the qualified physician, whether the medical personnel that operate laser or ultrasonic equipment are qualified, whether the clinic provides a receipt and what payment methods it accepts.
In addition, the department said an inspection of beauty and slimming products and services showed that out of 37 companies offering pre-paid service deals, 23 failed to comply with regulations requiring them to provide users of such services with a standard contract.
The standard contract protects consumers’ rights by including a seven-day review period; a refund policy for early termination of the contract; a clear compensation procedure; and an outline of the companies’ duties toward registered clients.