Sat, Jun 23, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Cosmetic clinics breach law with ads, group says

Staff writer, with CNA

More than 86 percent of cosmetic surgery clinics in Taiwan promote their services in ways that violate the Medical Act (醫療法), the Consumers’ Foundation said yesterday.

After receiving 246 plastic surgery-related complaints by Taiwanese patients over the past two years, the foundation investigated the Facebook pages of 15 cosmetic surgery clinics, it said.

Only two were found to contain no improper advertisements or misleading messages, the foundation said.

The other 13 clinics were all liable for fines between NT$50,000 and NT$250,000, as they offered promotional gifts and discounts on Facebook in violation of Article 61 of the act, the foundation said.

False advertising often gives rise to consumer disputes, foundation convener Huang Yu-ying (黃鈺?) said, adding that one of the most common problems is that patients only discover after surgery that the real price is much higher than advertised.

Clinics exaggerating the success of their procedures is also a major cause of consumer disputes, she added.

Patients are also often not properly informed about the potential risks before they undergo a procedure, which leaves them ignorant of possible complications that could put their lives at risk, Huang said.

Before deciding on cosmetic surgery, people should follow the “6 dos and 3 don’ts,” she said.

They should check their clinic’s and physician’s licenses; discuss the goal and effects of surgery with the physician; ensure that surgery is performed by the designated surgeon; read the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s agreement for cosmetic medical treatment; and demand a receipt, Huang said.

Advertisements calling a procedure “groundbreaking” are not to be trusted, Huang said, urging the public not to undergo surgeries labeled as gifts or offered at discounted prices and not to pay in advance.

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