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MP slams "reckless" deregulation of lasers

October 21, 2008 12:00 AM

The Government should reconsider proposals to deregulate the use of lasers and Intense Pulse Light systems in clinics and beauty salons after a parliamentary question tabled by MP Tim Farron revealed that the number of injuries they had caused had increased by over 25% in the last two years.

Currently the lasers- which are used to treat many skin conditions- require registration with the Healthcare Commission. Under plans laid out by the government this requirement will be removed for salons and clinics; but hospitals using the same lasers and IPL systems will still need to register them with the Healthcare Commission.

The decision was taken after the Department of Health identified the use of lasers and IPL systems as an area where the benefits of regulation no longer outweighed the costs to the Healthcare Commission.

Commenting Tim said:

"This is a reckless decision that has been taken for financial and not health reasons.

"If these lasers will have to be regulated in hospitals then why are we allowing them to be used on the high street?

"The Health Department's estimates of increased injuries take no account of opening the floodgates, and are based only on the reported injuries from the 850 clinics and salons currently registered.

"This could grow very quickly to thousands due to high-street laser users with inadequate training, procedures and support."