Written Answers. - Cosmetic Surgery.

Bernard Allen

Question:

538 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the departmental controls which exist in relation to cosmetic surgery in view of the fact that the cosmetic surgery market in Ireland has grown by 40% in the past year. [19483/00]

Bernard Allen

Question:

561 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans he has to introduce regulations to govern private cosmetic surgery clinics. [19803/00]

Bernard Allen

Question:

562 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans, if any, he has to establish a licensing system for cosmetic surgery clinics here similar to the system operating in the UK. [19804/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 538, 561 and 562 together.

The regulation of cosmetic surgery is not provided for by law and there is, therefore, no legislative framework within which I, as Minister for Health and Children, could issue guidelines on the matter which would be binding on the parties involved. The Medical Council is the statutory body established to provide for the registration and control of persons engaged in the practice of medicine under the Medical Practitioners Act, 1978. Doctors are required to be registered with the council before they can practise medicine in Ireland. However, practitioners are free to provide services to the public as long as they do not represent themselves as being registered medical practitioners.

Doctors practising in the public health service are registered with the Medical Council. People who avail of health services outside of the public health system should endeavour to seek the services of reputable organisations. In cases where people are dissatisfied with the service provided, redress can be sought through civil law.

I will continue to keep this area under review.