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U.K. goes undercover against illegal clinics

Article-U.K. goes undercover against illegal clinics

London — The British Parliament recently empowered inspectors from the Healthcare Commission (HC) to conduct undercover investigations of the approximately 3,000 unregistered clinics in the United Kingdom illegally offering cosmetic surgery. The government watchdog agency will be monitoring clinics which employ laser and light therapy for procedures from hair removal to the administration of Botox.

HC is mandated to enforce the current law requiring such services be performed only at practices registered with the government, according to

Patients and the public want reassurance that services are safe and meeting minimum standards, said HC head of operations Kate Lobley, according to news reports.

Proprietors have been warned that injunctions can be sought by the HC to shut down practices that have not applied for registration. Clinics operating outside the current law may also face criminal prosecution.

Previously, HC inspectors had only been authorized to dispatch "mystery shoppers" to the private clinics to evaluate their service offerings.

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