Cosmetic Surgery costs to double due to compensation culture?

Aurora Clinics fans may be worried by claims from The Daily Mail recently that cosmetic surgery costs could be set to double in as little as 12 months’’ time.

A “litigation tidal wave” is causing the alarm. That is: journalists, hot on the heels of Cosmetic Surgery Today website, reckon that the spiralling compensation culture in the UK could force Cosmetic Surgeons to up their prices in order to cope with huge (and often unfounded) lawsuits.

Admittedly, there are a growing number of unscrupulous companies out there, preying on people in the recession. You may have seen their adverts in the back pages of glossy women’’s magazines, luring you with riches if you set up your surgeon and claim compensation for the slightest thing.

Whether you were honestly unhappy with your cosmetic procedure or not, somebody desperate for money could be tempted by the promise of all that money for a few white lies. But it is the repercussions of doing so that the Daily Mail article focuses on.

The costs involved in legal battles over cosmetic surgery claims can be colossal – businesswoman Penny Johnson recently launched a lawsuit of £54million against her surgeon for an alleged botched facelift, and has already run up £3million in legal fees.

If increasing numbers of patients decide to go down this route, many Surgeons would indeed have to pay out for much more substantial legal insurance policies and, in order to recoup their costs, would probably raise their prices considerably. Others could be forced out of business entirely.

The real victims, therefore, would be all the prospective patients who might need surgery in the future but could no longer afford it.

Those surgeons who could afford to pay the much higher insurance and continue in business would inevitably be far more cautious about which cases they treated, so many people who might benefit greatly from surgery could find themselves turned away.

The surgeons themselves are making no greater profit and, in many cases if the allegations are proven to be bogus, the claimant will not gain anything either.

Even when the award is given, if the surgeon cannot pay it and is forced into bankruptcy, the claimant will still gain “justice” but not full cash compensation. It is the lawyers who therefore stand to benefit most, capitalising on their ‘no-win-no-fee’ promises and exploitation.

Aurora Clinics completely supports and upholds the view of cosmetic surgeon Mrs CC Kat, that “it is every patient’’s right to be protected by the law”: in cases that are genuine, it is perfectly acceptable to expect justice and compensation. However, the problem is of patients being encouraged to claim compensation in cases that are not truly negligent.

Or, as Aurora’’s Mr Adrian Richards points out, the disproportionately large amounts that they are being awarded. “”How does £54 million compare to £15,000 awarded for soldiers who lose both legs in Afghanistan?”” Mr Richards marvels.

It is therefore in the hands of the patients and how they decide to behave as to how this matter evolves. Patients’ rights have always been protected in the UK, and will continue to be so, but the amounts paid have always been reasonable.

Rest assured, however, Aurora fans, that we certainly have no plans to start doubling the price of procedures just yet…

Categories:  general-news