Keep med­i­cal beauty ser­vices safe

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

The Con­sumer Coun­cil on Mon­day pub­lished the re­sults of an in­quiry into med­i­cal beauty in­dus­try reg­u­la­tion fo­cused on con­sumer pro­tec­tion, or the lack of it, in Hong Kong. The in­quiry was done in re­sponse to grow­ing num­bers of med­i­cal beauty flops — in­clud­ing deaths — and gen­eral com­plaints about sub­stan­dard ser­vices and busi­ness mal­prac­tice in re­cent years. The coun­cil made nine rec­om­men­da­tions and urged the SAR gov-

bet­ter pro­tect con­sumers re­ceiv­ing such ser­vices. In­deed, in the med­i­cal beauty sec­tor it is not just one’s im­age that is at stake; many pro­ce­dures can be­come a mat­ter of life and death when they are not car­ried out the right way by qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als.

The num­ber of med­i­cal beauty ser­vice providers in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly in the city in re­cent years with the ris­ing in­ter­est in per­sonal im­age en­hance­ment among lo­cal res­i­dents as well as vis­it­ing tourists from the main­land. As the num­bers of such clin­ics and new treat­ments us­ing “cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy” went up, un­for­tu­nately, con­sumer com­plaints about mal­prac­tices and poor qual­ity re­sults also grew. As the Con­sumer Coun­cil has noted nu­mer­ous times in the last few years, many peo­ple did not know cer­tain pro­ce­dures must be done by gov­ern­ment-cer­ti­fied doc­tors un­til af­ter­ward — usu­ally when some­thing had gone wrong be­cause of un­qual­i­fied per­son­nel.

Some peo­ple may as­sume plas­tic sur­geons are re­quired only for “lifechang­ing” dras­tic op­er­a­tions and med­i­cal beauty treat­ments are not in that cat­e­gory. In re­al­ity many such “treat­ments” are so in­va­sive they re­quire cer­ti­fied doc­tors to per­form them in most if not all de­vel­oped mar­kets. For ex­am­ple, a woman died after li­po­suc­tion in Hong Kong in 2014. Rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties found out af­ter­ward it was done by a beau­ti­cian in­stead of a plas­tic sur­geon, in ob­vi­ous vi­o­la­tion of ex­ist­ing law. In some other cases the prob­lem came from the du­bi­ous de­vices claimed to have un­proven beauty

lot of hot air.

Med­i­cal beauty ser­vices are a highly value-added in­dus­try that is sup­posed to en­hance the cus­tomer’s im­age with min­i­mal health risks. The stan­dard of such ser­vices must match the ex­or­bi­tant prices they charge but, some­times, it does not.

and even deaths we have heard about in re­cent years have se­verely dam­aged the rep­u­ta­tion of the in­dus­try and of Hong Kong as a whole, in ad­di­tion to hurt­ing con­sumers. The SAR gov­ern­ment is ob­li­gated to up­date rel­e­vant law and reg­u­la­tion to pre­vent ac­ci­dents from hap­pen­ing again in this in­dus­try, for the sake of lo­cal res­i­dents as well as vis­it­ing tourists.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.