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Life on the land in Australia

FIFO cosmetic surgeons head for the sticks as demand soars for their services

‘THE ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR’ [COSMETIC SERVICE]

Dr Ehsan Jadoon with cosmetic client Pania Burdon at the Broome clinic image www.ozrural.com

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Increasing demand for Botox and tummy tucks in regional areas has prompted cosmetic surgeons to offer fly-in fly-out services to country towns.

The cosmetic medicine industry is booming in Australia, with some the uptake of some procedures increasing 15 per cent per year.

Regional residents are as enthusiastic as their city counterparts about getting cosmetic lifts, with FIFO cosmetic doctors touring small towns and renting surgical rooms to treat patients.

Dr Ehsan Jadoon has a practice in Perth but spends much of his time doing two-day visits to centres like Alice Springs, Broome and Esperance.

“The services we offer are not generally available locally, so patients would have to fly to Perth or Darwin to have a procedure done,” he said.

“So that’s how it all started.

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“We were originally thinking about calling our company the Royal Flying Cosmetic Doctors.”

Services include facelifts and breast augmentations, as well as non-invasive procedures like anti-wrinkle injections and scar removal.

Dr Jadoon said he found country women were often more concerned about their appearance than city women.

“In mainstream Australia, people think that girls in rural towns are not really into their looks or their beauty, but it’s quite contrary to that,” he said.

“I’ve seen a lot of the best-dressed and well-presented ladies in the country towns of Australia.”

Some clients travel from cattle stations to go under the knife.

“I have had patients who have driven four or five hundred kilometres in a day to come and see me,” he said.

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Cosmetic surgery still kept secret in the country: surgeon

Small towns can be fishbowls for gossip, and many remain shy about being perceived as vain.

At the surgery Dr Jadoon rents in Broome, patients are given a private area to wait for their appointment, so they are not seen leaving.

“I’ve noticed that in bigger regional cities, people are warming up to having treatments done, but in country towns it’s still a very hush-hush thing,” he said.

“People don’t want to be seen or known for doing it.”

While some doctors are responding to the growing demand in regional and remote areas by adopting a FIFO business model, others are using video hook-ups to speak with patients – causing some concern within the industry.

Many cosmetic surgery websites now promote Skype consultations, where people interested in a nip or tuck can be assessed from the comfort of their bush home.

Queensland-based surgeon John Flynn from the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery said people should think carefully before relying on an internet hook-up to organise a procedure.

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“I think there’s been a major revolution in technology and Skype consultations, and in many cases, it can be very, very useful in pre-assessment of patients, and imparting information,” Dr Flynn said.

“But the absolute cornerstone of good professional practice is that there’s a face-to-face consultation with the doctor before the procedure is undertaken.

“I think what’s important is to make sure we get the right service, and the right sense of professionalism in the remote areas.”

There have been complaints made to the college that medical professionals are administrating treatments like Botox in country towns without adequate training or supervision.

At least one prosecution is underway of a nurse accused of acting improperly.

Dr Jadoon said he had come across the issue in his time touring the bush.

“Because this industry is under-regulated, we often find that people who may not be qualified to administer anti-wrinkle treatments are doing it, especially in country towns where there’s no-one there to supervise them,” he said.

“For example, in the Northern Territory anyone can buy a medical grade dermatological laser and start doing treatment.

“The important element is to make sure that the service being provided is done in the best possible way, and that relates to pre-operative assessment and post-operative management of cases – I think that’s the crucial area.”

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Henry Sapiecha

December 14th, 2014
Topic: BEAUTY PERSONAL, MEDICAL, SURGERY, TRANSPORT SHIPPING AVIATION, TREATMENTS Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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