Free session ban ‘will limit choice’

Plans to stop free consultations for patients seeking plastic surgery will limit choice and make treatment more expensive, it has been claimed.

The European Union is proposing a new law banning cosmetic surgeons from seeing patients thinking about a procedure for free.

At the moment the average UK person who is considering having cosmetic surgery has four free consultations with surgeons before they decide who will carry out their procedure.

But if the new EU legislation is brought in, patients will have to pay for their initial consultation so they are likely to meet with fewer surgeons to save money, it is believed.

The average cost of a consultation under the new rules will be £1,581 and research claims banning free sessions will add an average of £632 to each patient’s final surgery bill. This is a price hike of between 15% and 20%.

Pat Dunion, Transform Cosmetic Surgery’s chief operating officer, said the new legislation would lead to patients having to make less informed choices.

The expert said charging people every time they see a surgeon will stop many consumers from meeting with several different surgeons for advice.

Dunion added that Transform believes patients should have the right to consult different surgeons for a second opinion without ending up out of pocket.