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Public Health urges caution with invasive beauty treatments, publishes guidance

Pic by David Parry

The Department of Public Health on Monday published a guide sheet for anyone considering an invasive or injectable beauty and lifestyle treatment in Gibraltar.

In a statement, Public Health Gibraltar is urging people to question who is administering the treatment and what their qualifications and experience are; what is it that they are being injected with; and how it is being administered.

“Contaminated or re-used needles can spread HIV or hepatitis B infection,” Public Health Gibraltar said in a statement.

“Contaminated infusions can result in septicaemia, otherwise known as blood poisoning.”

The statement comes as it ramps up its awareness campaign on medical cosmetic procedures.

Under Gibraltar law, non-certified practitioners can legally administer non-prescription injectable treatments with a business licence.

The Office of Fair Trading considers relevant qualifications and training before issuing a licence, but legally for non-prescription injectables medical training is not needed.

But a few weeks ago the Gibraltar Government told this newspaper it is considering a reform of legislation for the medical cosmetics industry after one person was hospitalised following an injectable cosmetic treatment.

And although Public Health Gibraltar has warned of the potential dangers of such procedures, the onus was placed on the client to assess the safety of the treatment themselves.

The Government spokesman told the Chronicle a working group will be established to discuss proposals to reform the 1997 Medical and Health Act, adding that from a medical perspective, there is definite concern regarding uncertified individuals being able to administer non-prescription injectables in Gibraltar.

The Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, said: “It is important that if you have any questions or concerns regarding a treatment, address these with the practitioner using these FAQs as a guide.”

“If you are considering a beauty and lifestyle treatment and have questions that are not covered by the FAQs, please email Health.Promotion@gha.gi for guidance and support.”

For her part, the Minister with responsibility for Public Health, Gemma Arias-Vasquez, said: “Please don’t take any unnecessary risks and make sure you are comfortable with the treatment and who is giving it to you.”

The advice and information sheet has been developed by the Department of Public Health in partnership with the Gibraltar Medical and Nursing Registration Boards, the GHA Chief Pharmacist, the Office of Fair Trading, and HM Customs.

This is available online at: https://www.gha.gi/public-health/invasive-beauty-treatments/

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