Rose Simpson's column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina. You can read her previous columns here.
CBC reported this week that an Ottawa therapist turned aesthetician has been doing face lifts and nose jobs in her home. Eve Stewart, who advertises heavily on local television, admits she's not a medical doctor, but somehow believes that she is within her rights to do procedures that doctors need a licence -- and 12 years worth of training -- to perform.
Stewart, who owns a spa in her lavish home in Westboro, also does cosmetic laser work and gives Botox and dermal fillers to her customers (not patients, as I said, she's not an MD). She says she receives supervision from a medical doctor, though the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has been unable to locate said doctor. According to CBC Ottawa, the college is trying to get an injunction to stop Stewart from doing surgeries for which is not trained or certified, procedures which include, wince, something called vaginal beautification.
Meanwhile, women are lining up for her services, apparently. It's just another week in the marvelous medical world which is Ontario, a place where people routinely perform dental work without being dentists and where girls can go to backroom docs to have their genitals mutilated.
Regulation is a wonderful thing, isn't it?
The Ottawa Health Department, God bless its staff, gave Eve the go-ahead to work on women's vaginas and nasal passages. She has a health certificate right there in her office. Not our jurisdiction, says public health. It makes me wonder. Didn't the inspector give the place a second look or think to report her for her amateur plumbing?
The great news is that Eve isn't alone in providing bogus medical treatment to the women and men of Ottawa. There are spas popping up everywhere that offer cosmetic procedures for which the practitioners are not exactly qualified. And some of them use materials that they buy on the Internet!
In Canada, only doctors can legally buy products like Botox, so most of these spas enlist the services of medical doctors who are supposed to supervise the people who administer the stuff. But in a lot of cases, doctors only work as consultants and aren't actually responsible if you get a botched job on your face. So you can't sue the doctor and the spa owner can just fold their tent if you try to sue them.
That is why the safe thing to do is go to a medical doctor who has malpractice insurance. If the doctor owns the clinic, even if he or she doesn't do the procedure, that doctor is responsible for bung-ups. The patient can also complain to the College which will investigate the doctor, discipline him and in some cases, revoke his licence. All of this is on the public record.
Good to know, right?
So why are people going to these spas? Because they are cheaper than going to a doctor. Well, that's not exactly true. If an unqualified individual mangles your face at a cheap rate, or uses a substandard product, you'll still have to go to a doctor to fix your problem. OHIP doesn't cover botched procedures, so you'll be on the hook for thousands of dollars.
Better to be smart than do the walk of shame into that doctor's office, right?
Boggles the mind, really.
Eve Stewart has taken this medical nightmare to a whole new level. She's actually performing SURGERY on patients in a house. I made a joke the other day that she accidentally lost the tip of a patient's nose and found it under her cat! Seriously, though, surgery should be performed in an operating room for which there are standards set by experts and it should be done by people who are BOARD CERTIFIED.
Stewart, apparently, thinks this is ridiculous. Anybody can do a rhinoplasty, right? Just like anybody can build a bomb from instructions on the Internet.
And a facelift! A facelift is normally performed as a serious surgical procedure by a doctor, accompanied by an anesthesiologist and surgical nurses in an operating room.
Giving someone a facelift isn't like taking a bunch of thread and trussing the patient like a turkey.
Let's hope the College can stop Stewart before she does serious damage to some stupid woman who thinks she can get a facelift for the cost of a ten speed.
The bigger issue is that there are doctors all over the city who are accessories to this unethical behavior. Who are they and how are they allowed to practice in this manner?
Greedy is what they are.
Ladies, don't be stupid. If you are going to have cosmetic procedures done, first go to the website of the College and check out the CREDENTIALS of your DOCTOR.
Cause if you don't, it's your own fault.
It's your face, your nose, your VAGINA. You don't get a second one.
-- Rose Simpson
See also: Ottawa Health Guide
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