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This Law's a 'Beauty'

Beauty pursuers please note: Starting today, any cosmetic surgery, like double-line eyelids or enlarging breast size, is defined as medical service which can only be done at medical institutes rather than beauty salons, as a new national regulation on such services takes effect.

The move comes in response to numerous complaints and cases of poor-quality cosmetic surgeries, which have left an indelible mark, both physical and mental, on customers, officials said.

Under the regulation, anyone offering cosmetic surgery must have license for practicing medicine issued by Shanghai Public Health Bureau.

Beauty salons only need a business license issued by the Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau to start service, which should be beauty care rather than surgeries.

Cosmetic surgery is different from common beauty care, such as skin treatment, and should only be done in clinics or hospitals, doctors warn.

"We will conduct tougher and comprehensive checks on beauty salons from late May. Violators will be fined between 5,000 to 20,000 yuan, or even have their business licenses revoked," said Zhang Wei, an official of the Shanghai Health Supervision Institute.

At present, there are no more than 20 hospitals and clinics in Shanghai with permits to conduct cosmetic surgeries, which reports busy business.

"About 50-70 patients come for surgery every day while the figure doubles or triples during holidays," said Sun Baoshan of Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital.

As the weeklong Labor Day holiday starts today, the hospital expects a surge of cosmetic patients.

Improved living standards has spawned a huge market and beauty parlors are cashing in by illegally providing cosmetic surgeries without necessary qualification, facilities or trained staff.

"We have been accepting dozens of visitors every month who have been disfigured by surgeries done at salons," said Chen Hui, spokeswoman of the Shanghai International Medical Exchanger Center. "Doctors conduct at least 10 surgeries a month to cast away the effects of previous operations."

(eastday.com May 1, 2002)

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