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Mon 5 Nov 2007 03:28 PM

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Cosmetic surgery laws need nip, tuck

Lapses in education, certification and accreditation across Gulf Arab states, hospital exec warns.

GCC states are failing on cosmetic surgery regulations, with lapses in education, certification and accreditation, the CEO of the newly opened American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital (AACSH), Dubai has claimed to Medical Times.

Despite the region potentially yielding huge patient numbers, the industry remains immature and poorly regulated, said Dr Adam Bader.

"Regulation is coming and it is not coming too soon to be honest," he said. "You see a tremendous amount of side effects in the local market right now, in terms of laser side effects, which is probably the easiest part of what people are doing."

Bader complained that a lack of licensing and accreditation was to blame for a high incidence of poor practice in surgeries in Dubai.

"We are spending probably 45% of our budget on physician salary to ensure we won't have the same problems that our local competitors are having," he said.

The AACSH, which opened its doors last month in Dubai Healthcare City, hopes to capitalise on the Academy's reputation to attract medical tourists. "We've found there is a market in the Middle East that needs to be serviced under a comprehensive cosmetic set-up," Bader said. "We see huge potential."

The group also plans to tap into the emerging continuous medical education (CME) market in the region, and Bader claimed the hospital would be one of few institutions to offer "truly accredited CME".

"CME is a grey area," he said. "We have an exclusive arrangement with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery to offer accredited courses. We are targeting CME for dermatology, cosmetic dentistry and surgery for nurses and doctors in the medical schools in the GCC," he added.

"Dermatology is going to be a bulk producer for us in the hospital."

Bader said that the AACSH is equipped to see an average of 100 patients per day, performing up to 30 major and minor procedures. He anticipates that the hospital will see "about 1,600 to 2,000 patients a year". The facility currently has the capacity for a total of 15 beds for inpatients.

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