A Malaysian-trained cosmetic surgeon has been charged with continuing to practice on patients in Australia – despite being on suspension.

Dr Faizal Anwar was de-registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) in August 2016 over patient safety concerns.

Bungled cosmetic procedures led to Anwar’s investigations

Investigations began after one of Anwar’s patients visited a hospital post-surgery. According to the hospital’s plastic surgeon, Anwar had provided “sub-optimal” care – including poor infection control, risk management and after-care.

To add fuel to the fire, over a dozen women are in line to sue the surgeon (and the clinic) over botched surgical procedures. They claim that facelifts, nose jobs and breast enlargements he performed left them eternally scarred or deformed.

Anwar now says to be too ill and poor to aid the growing list of angry and traumatised patients from Melbourne’s affluent outskirts.

One of the notorious surgeon’s patients, Hanae Hamoui was left with scars behind her ears and a dimple on her jaw. She said, “Not in my wildest imagination did I think that something like this could happen in Melbourne. It is horrible. You always think you are over it, but you are not.”

Another patient, Lucy, had to have corrective surgery on her nose. “They demanded my money before surgery. I want them closed down,” she said, venting her anger and frustration.

Both patients are calling for stricter regulations on clinicians branding themselves as cosmetic surgeons. “I want something done about the cosmetic industry to prevent clinics and doctors getting away with what they are doing.”

“They need to own up to what they are doing. There needs to be more things in place to prevent people like this,” said Hamoui.

Surgeon sent patients copy of bank account to indicate poor financial status

Anwar failed to respond to allegations against him but his spouse, Intan, emailed Herald Sun regarding the case. She confirmed that Anwar was in talks with medical authorities and even supplied proof that he had suffered a stroke in February this year.

Apparently, when a patient confronted him last September to seek help after an alleged botched facelift, Anwar replied by sending a copy of his overdrawn bank account. He stated that part-time work at restaurants and 7-Eleven stores was all that he was able to gain.

He wrote to the patient, “I am sorry for all the inconvenience that it has caused you, but as of now I honestly cannot do much.” He also said that he could not prevent anyone from pursuing legal action but that would “drive my family and me on to the pavement”.

Currently, Australian medical authorities are working with Malaysian counterparts to clarify his status. Lawyer Tom Ballantyne is handling 12 complaints related to Anwar and the clinic.

He clarified, “Most people don’t realise there’s a huge difference between ‘cosmetic’ and ‘plastic’ surgeons, both in terms of skills and qualifications. People are encouraged to think that these procedures are routine or straightforward. They’re not and they carry the same risks as any type of surgery.”

Anwar is due to appear Werribee Magistrates’ Court next month. MIMS

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