Independent clinics were brought within the regulation of Healthcare Improvement Scotland on 1 April 2016. The policy was to ensure that certain healthcare professionals who are working independently of the NHS do so in a clinic that is registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland. That work puts Scotland at the forefront of regulating independent private healthcare, mainly in the cosmetic area but also in dentistry, midwifery and slimming clinics, to name but a few areas.
Until 2016, there was no regulation of cosmetic procedures. It is crucial that aesthetic procedures that are currently provided by non-healthcare professionals are subject to a similar level of inspection and scrutiny as those that are provided by medically qualified practitioners. We plan to bring forward a consultation later this year, to inform our legislative amendments.
Will the minister clarify what action can be taken in the meantime to highlight to consumers the risks they face when they submit to procedures such as Botox and lip-filling injections that are carried out by unqualified practitioners who might have no training or insurance and who might not be regulated?
Mr Torrance brings an important point to the chamber. Anyone who is considering undergoing such a treatment should always use a regulated provider, details of which are available on the Healthcare Improvement Scotland website. Unregulated providers will not appear on that list, nor will they have any HIS-accredited literature to prove their competence.
We also urge consumers to carry out due diligence checks on the provider.