Cosmetology fraud to be severely punished

Updated: Apr 20, 2023 China Daily Print
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A woman receives facial beauty treatment at a cosmetic clinic in Tianjin. TONG YU/CHINA NEWS SERIVCE

Efforts hoped to create more standards for quality, practices in growing market

The Supreme People's Procuratorate will recommend severe punishment for people involved in illegal medical cosmetology practices, and more attention will be paid to resolving public interest problems in the field to promote its healthy development, it said.

Since September, procuratorates nationwide have worked with market regulators and other departments to improve the medical cosmetology industry and crack down on illegal activities such as false advertising, unlicensed practices, production and sale of counterfeit products, trademark infringement, smuggling and price fraud.

Procuratorates have approved the arrest of 306 people over alleged criminal offenses, officially charged 381 people and filed 838 public interest litigation cases since September, according to the SPP. They have also issued 465 procuratorial suggestions to relevant administrative authorities to push forward the resolution of prominent problems in the industry that damage the public's rights and interests.

Judging from the number of prosecuted people involved in criminal cases related to medical cosmetology, the top five crimes are: fraud; producing, selling and providing fake drugs; interfering with drug administration; selling goods with fake trademarks; and the unlicensed practice of medicine, according to the SPP.

In one case, a criminal surnamed Li was registered as an assistant doctor at a plastic surgery clinic in the city of Zhongwei, Ningxia Hui autonomous region. In October 2021, Li conducted a "liposuction surgery" for a 19-year-old woman in a plastic surgery hospital in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia, without being registered for medical practice with Yinchuan's health department.

Li didn't perform a preoperative evaluation, record the operation process, prescribe medication, provide postoperative medical advice, and did not sign relevant medical documents. He also didn't arrive on time after he was informed that the woman had reactions including pain, vomiting and unconsciousness during the observation period. The woman died three days later after being transferred to another hospital.

After the case, Yinchuan's health department imposed administrative penalties on the hospital and Li, revoking its medical license along with a fine of 53,000 yuan ($7,700), and revoking Li's practicing certificate.

The judicial appraisal confirmed that there was a direct causal relationship between the medical negligence in the case and the patient's death.

Prosecutors in Yinchuan brought Li's case to court in June last year. Later, Li also paid 500,000 yuan in compensation and obtained forgiveness from the victim's family. In December 2022, Li was sentenced to 10 months in prison for medical malpractice. He did not appeal.

Later, local procuratorates issued procuratorial suggestions to relevant regulatory departments, urging them to strengthen the supervision of medical cosmetology institutions, and to tighten the management of medical practitioners, diagnosis and treatment in all aspects.

Regulators later inspected 23 local medical cosmetics institutions and imposed administrative punishments on four of them over violations.

The State Administration for Market Regulation issued a sample text for the Medical Cosmetology Consumer Service Contract on Tuesday to standardize the medical cosmetology service practices and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

The sample text is mainly applicable to consumers receiving medical cosmetology services provided by for-profit institutions, as currently the two parties generally do not sign a written contract.

The sample text emphasizes that operators should express the verification and traceability channels of relevant information, such as the qualification of medical cosmetology institutions, doctors, and other relevant medicines and devices.

It is urging institutions to regulate their marketing behavior and to not create "appearance anxiety" in their publicity. The sample text also reminds consumers of the complexity and uncertainty of medical cosmetology services, and guides consumers to form reasonable expectations of the effects of the services.


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