Most cosmetic surgery clinics illegally promote services: CF

Taipei, Over 86 percent of cosmetic surgery clinics in Taiwan promote the services they offer in ways that violate the Medical Care Act, according to the Consumer's Foundation Friday.

In response to 246 plastic surgery related complaints by Taiwanese consumers over the past two years, the foundation investigated the Facebook pages of 15 cosmetic surgery clinics.

Only two were found to contain no improper advertisements or misleading messages, the foundation said.

The other 13 clinics were all liable to fines ranging from NT$50,000 (US$1,640) to NT$250,000, as promotions for gifts and price discounts on their Facebook pages violate the provisions of Article 61 of the Medical Care Act, according to the foundation.

False advertising often results in consumer disputes, and one of the most common problems customers face is that they only become aware of the real cost of surgery after the procedure, which is often much higher than advertised, foundation convener Huang Yu-ying (???) said.

The way in which clinics exaggerate the success of their surgeries is also a major cause of consumer disputes in Taiwan.

In addition, consumers are often not properly informed about the potential risks of the procedures they undergo, which leaves them ignorant of unfavorable consequences that could put their lives at risk, according to Huang.

Huang urges consumers to follow the "6 dos and 3 don'ts" before they undergo cosmetic surgery.

Check the license of the clinic and the certificate of the physician, talk with the physician about the purpose and effects of surgery, ensure surgery is performed by the designated physician, read the agreement for cosmetic medical treatment published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and demand a receipt for medical services received.

To avoid consumer disputes, consumers are advised not to trust advertisements calling a procedure "groundbreaking," not to undergo surgeries labeled gift services or offered at discounted prices, and not to pay in advance, Huang added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel