More and more people are making the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery as treatments like breast augmentation, weight loss surgery, fillers and botox become more affordable and accessible to more than simply the A List celebrities.
But, what happens when cosmetic surgery goes wrong? Will your surgeon still be there to pursue your complaint with them when you are dissatisfied with your treatment?
Commonly, patients presume that their surgeon is insured under the umbrella of the hospitals private external insurance policy however, it depends upon the surgeons contractual relationship with the hospital as to who is ultimately responsible for the surgery provided.
It is therefore important to establish whether your surgeon has the benefit of a personal insurance policy and who this is with.
If the surgeon is providing treatment under the hospitals insurance policy then it is important to establish that the hospital are insured and who with. It is common for a hospital to insure themselves and to not have the benefit of an external insurance policy in which case it is important to establish who will be responsible for the treatment your surgeon provides if the hospital should cease to exist or go into liquidation.
Surgeons practicing in the UK are not governed by any governing body and therefore anybody can purport to be a specialist plastic surgeon. Of course, a surgeon will be registered with the The General Medical Council (GMC).
All surgeons providing medical treatment including private cosmetic surgery must be registered with the GMC before providing any treatment.
The GMC are an organisation that regulate medical practitioners in the UK and may investigate any complaint that you may have, holding their member to account, if necessary and providing the appropriate sanctions.
However, all surgeons must be insured to perform cosmetic surgery and if a surgeon has no insurance, then if anything goes wrong you may not have any redress against them. Therefore, before making the decision to undergo, often life changing, cosmetic surgery ensure you know that your surgeon is insured.
By Stephanie Lock, Solicitor