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GP leaders call for an end to 'cowboy tattooists'

GP leaders have called for a clampdown on cowboy tattooists and piercers to protect people from health risks.

The RCGP and the BMA have given their support to Government proposals in Wales for a compulsory licensing system for practitioners of procedures such as tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture and electrolysis.

Both organisations want it to be illegal for practitioners to carry out piercing of ‘intimate’ body parts defined as the genitals and the breast, including nipples, on under-16s.

The BMA also wants to see licensing linked to laser hair removal, chemical peels, dermal fillers, scarification/branding and sub-dermal implantation, while the college says it wants to see a ban on piercings of the naval, lip, nose and tongue among under-16s.

The organisations made their points in written evidence to the health and social care committee as part of a consultation on the Public Health (Wales) Bill, currently under consideration by the National Assembly for Wales.

Health minister Mark Drakeford argues that piercing and tattooing can result in nerve damage, swelling, infection and bleeding if poorly performed, and wants to see regulation of practitioners and their premises.

The RCGP states in its written evidence for this week’s hearing: ‘People are very often unaware of the risks related to these procedures due to infection, allergy or potential carcinogens in some inks used for tattoos. They are also unaware of the potential for life long scaring resulting in occasionally disfiguring or disabling deformity from procedures which have complications. They are also unaware that it is difficult to remove evidence of piercing or tattooing, when they no longer want the associated effect.’

The BMA evidence states: ‘We support the proposal to give ministers the power to amend the list of special procedures to which this licensing system will apply through regulations.’

 

Readers' comments (12)

  • "Both organisations want it to be illegal for practitioners to carry out piercing of ‘intimate’ body parts defined as the genitals and the breast, including nipples, on under-16s."

    A rather incoherent position. Surely a person either has capacity to consent to a piercing or they do not - what difference does it make where the piercing is?

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  • I'm glad that in these stable, dull times in primary care our leaders still have worthwhile things to do.

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  • we need a speech from the BMA immediately, also some prof from an interest group eg NICE to call for GPs to be put in from of the GMC if they don't support the measure.

    the last thing we want our leaders to do is to look into issues such as increasing expenses, falling pay, retention, recruitment, MRCGP fiasco, imposed 7 day working etc ....

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  • 4:03pm and 7:15pm - agreed.

    It's time alternative to the BMA I think. Rejoined a couple of years ago thinking that things might change but seriously thinking about leaving again.

    Quite frankly there enough interest groups, charities and NGOs pushing "what's best for the patient". I'd like to see our so called union pushing "what's best for the members that pay the bills" and greeting some of the current proposals from HMG with a robust Foxtrot Oscar.

    I'm fed up with being told that yet another dismal deal for doctors is a great opportunity for patient care, shortly before being offered home insurance and the chance to do an online module in remaining resilient whilst being shafted.

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  • I left last week. Though I told them whyp (ie due to their inability to act, they did not seem disturbed in the slightest. Should have left sooner.

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  • Fiddling while Rome burns I think!

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  • BMA & RCGP - always focusing on the irrelevant. Pathetic

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  • forget about junior doctors and GP trainee pay being cut by a third - this is far more important.

    i would go further and make it compulsory for everyone to be wrapped in cotton wool and let the rcgp/bma make decisions for them on the assumption that they cab't make decisions for themselves.

    correction wrap in cotton wool only if not sensitive to it.

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  • Can the RCGP and BMA please be scrapped!!!

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  • Grass root GPs call for an end to cowboy leaders!

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