Gov’t to set new rules for surgery

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Gov’t to set new rules for surgery

The Ministry of Health and Welfare proposed a set of new regulations on Wednesday to reinforce safety measures for patients undergoing surgery.

The rules are in response to widespread distrust of surgeons in Korea and the way some operations are conducted - particularly plastic surgery.

As part of the regulations, the consent form a patient must sign before going under the knife will now need to include the name of the doctor in charge of the procedure, along with the medical field he or she specializes in.

Patients will also no longer be allowed to give consent for before-and-after photos to be taken or used by hospitals for advertising purposes, according to the ministry.

In efforts to sweep away concerns about operations being conducted at the last minute by a doctor who has not been approved by the patient, the ministry also urged plastic surgery hospitals that employ three or more doctors to install CCTV systems in operating theaters.

In January, a Chinese tourist’s heart stopped working while she was receiving plastic surgery in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, where 350 plastic surgery hospitals are located. The patient was moved to an emergency room but later lost brain function. Another patient who had liposuction also died from the surgery last September.

Worries over lax health and safety in operating theaters arose last December when a nurse’s aide at a plastic surgery hospital in Gangnam posted photos online showing staff celebrating a birthday in the middle of an operation.

Plastic surgery advertisements that will be put up in public transportation areas or screened at movie theaters will now need approval from the Korean Medical Association.

Multiple ads showing people who have had cosmetic procedures appear on electric signs and posters in public places such as at bus stops or inside subways in Korea.

Ads that include exaggerated or false reviews from people who have undergone plastic surgery and those featuring pictures contrasting shots from before-and-after cosmetic operations will be completely banned from public places under the measures.

In addition, photos of famous entertainers will be banned from being used in plastic surgery advertisements.

“Although those types of advertisements at public spaces and blogs anyone can access will be banned, those put up on a hospital’s website for people who sign up and log into it will be allowed,” said Lee Hyeong-hun, head of the health care policy department of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Under the set of regulations, medical specialists who appear on home shopping TV programs - commonly referred to as “show doctors” - will no longer be allowed to give testimonies about pharmaceutical products.

The ministry plans to announce the measures on Monday before they are approved by parliament.

BY RHEE ESTHER [ypc3c@joongang.co.kr]




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