News in brief: Plastic surgeons call to ban ‘cosmetic surgeon’ title; Moisturiser doesn’t stop infant atopic dermatitis; Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all healthcare staff: AMA

1 Sep 2021

AHPRA called to ban on the term “cosmetic surgery”

Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons President, Dr Rob Sheen is calling for AHPRA to crack down on cosmetic surgeons who spruik themselves as specialists and want the term banned, according to an article in WAtoday.

Dr Sheen told the publication patients were being “deceived by the title” and left disfigured or in intensive care with local anaesthetic toxicity, the article read.

“An AHPRA spokeswoman said using the term ‘cosmetic surgery’ was not considered a breach of national law because there was no recognised medical specialty of cosmetic surgery or protected title relating to it,” it continued.

An accredited competency standard could help improve cosmetic surgery standards and care, and determine who could call themselves a cosmetic surgeon, Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery and Medicine President, Dr Patrick Tansley said in the article.

Federal and state health ministers plan to consult the public on their understanding of medical qualifications to determine whether confusion over the term “surgeon” has led to safety risks and harm, it reported.

Moisturiser doesn’t stop infant atopic dermatitis

At-risk infants could still get atopic dermatitis (AD) even with early-moisturiser use, according to a new study.

The study of 200 infants showed twice-daily moisturiser made no difference in overall (37% versus 35%, P = 0.768) or moderate-to-severe (4% versus 6%, P = 0.603) AD rates over 12 months, the authors wrote in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology.

Though moisturised infants had lower mean severity scores (SCORAD) than the control group, no significant differences were seen in trans-epidermal water loss, stratum corneum hydration or skin pH.

Only one patient developed irritant contact dermatitis from the Cetaphil Restoraderm (PRO AD Derma) Skin Restoring Moisturizer and wash and no other side effects were reported.

Previous studies on AD prevention through early moisturiser use have had mixed results, the authors wrote.

“Our study did not demonstrate a difference in the overall incidence of AD or the incidence of moderate or severe AD in the treatment and control groups, and the early use of moisturisers in at-risk infants does not appear to reduce the risk of developing AD.”

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all healthcare staff: AMA

The AMA has called for a national mandatory vaccination regulation against COVID-19 for all healthcare staff after NSW led the way for staff in public and private hospitals.

Under a new Public Health Order, NSW health staff must have a first dose of vaccine by 30 September 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 30 November 2021, or at least have their second appointment booked or they will be excluded from the workplace.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said 80% of staff were already vaccinated and the new requirement was similar to existing mandatory vaccination requirements for frontline health staff for influenza, chicken pox, measles and pertussis.

“National Cabinet agreed in June to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for aged care workers, and NSW will now ensure the same protections exist for all our health workers,” he said.

“It will also ease pressure on our health system during this challenging time. More than 1,200 healthcare workers have been in isolation each day over the past seven days and we cannot afford that right now. Vaccinations will help ensure our fantastic staff can continue to care for patients.”

The AMA said mandatory vaccination rules should be put in place nationally for the workforce of the entire health care system including support staff.

With worrying numbers of COVID-19-infected frontline workers furloughed and unable to work, as well as several clusters being linked to hospitals,  AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said mandatory vaccines for health care workers are needed to sustain the health system into the future as Australia learns to live with COVID-19.

“We’ve said plans to reopen Australia will be a disaster unless our health sector is ready, and that will mean having a fully protected medical workforce,” he said.

“There is widespread uncertainty as to whether other occupations and workplaces can also mandate vaccinations. The law needs clarity to give employers and employees certainty.

“AMA proposes nationally consistent public health orders be issued by state and territory governments to provide legal protection to any employer who can also reasonably establish worker safety would benefit from a workplace vaccine mandate. Longer term, statutory coverage may be required.”

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