A total of 466 medical disputes related to aesthetic medicine were reported in Taipei from 2013 to 2016, with cosmetic injections giving rise to the most disputes, the Taipei Department of Health said.
In 2016, 116 of the city’s 374 medical disputes were related to aesthetic medicine, the agency said, adding that it counted 415 cosmetic surgery clinics in Taipei that year.
Medical disputes in aesthetic medicine mainly arise when cosmetic surgery patients are dissatisfied with the result, Chinese Society of Cosmetic Surgery and Anti-Aging Medicine education committee convener Sung Feng-yi (宋奉宜) said.
Compared with laser treatments and other types of micro-plastic surgery, injections leave relatively little room for changes during the procedure, Sung said on Sunday, adding that this might cause the high number of medical disputes over cosmetic injections.
The number of cases related to aesthetic medicine received by the Taiwan Healthcare Reform Foundation has roughly doubled over the past five years, foundation deputy chief executive Chu Hsien-kuang (朱顯光) said.
They make up about 10 percent of all medical disputes that the foundation receives, he said.
A recent investigation discovered many unreported cases of medical disputes, Sung said, adding that for each case covered in the media, there could be more than 20 unreported cases.
Most medical disputes are caused by systemic and other factors, and less than 5 percent can be attributed to negligence on the part of medical personnel, Sung said, adding that this is also the case with disputes about aesthetic medicine.
Some cosmetic surgery clinics do not have enough anesthesiologists and ask anesthesiologists who work at hospitals to help them part-time, Taiwan Society of Anesthesiologists board member Tsou Mei-yung (鄒美勇) said.
Other clinics have nurses and medical personnel who act as “anesthetists,” Tsou said, adding that in reality, no such professional title exists.
Laws and regulations require surgeries, anesthesia and other medical procedures to be performed by physicians, and anesthesiologists need to undergo more than four years of specialist training, pass an exam and receive a national license, Tsou said.
People should select qualified hospitals and clinics if they want to have cosmetic surgery, said Lee Lin-shen (李林深), leader of the injections group of the cosmetic surgery society’s education and scholarship committee.
They should confirm that the surgery, as well as the anesthesia, will be performed by a physician and give themselves enough time to reconsider, rather than immediately undergoing a procedure after a consultation, Lee said.
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