South Australia Bans Non-therapeutic Male Circumcision

THE ADVERTISER, Adelaide, SA, Monday, November 12, 2007

Cosmetic circumcision banned

November 12, 2007 01:15am

CIRCUMCISION will be banned in the state's public hospitals unless it is for medical reasons.

Health Minister John Hill today will announce an immediate ban on "cosmetic" circumcision.

"The Health Department has a responsibility to ensure access to elective surgery is based on sound medical reasons," he said yesterday. "Cosmetic procedures such as liposuction, facelifts and male circumcision will only be provided if assessed and justified on true clinical grounds.

"This will improve the demand on beds, clinical resources and theatre time."

In the past financial year, 274 circumcisions were performed on children in the state's public hospitals. SA is the last state to take a stand against circumcision. "Both nationally and overseas, doctors agree there is no medical benefit to routine circumcision with the procedure as low as 2 per cent in the UK," Mr Hill said. "Parents who wish to have their son circumcised can still have the procedure done in private hospitals or private day centres."

Australian Medical Association state president Peter Ford said circumcision was controversial and it was "not unreasonable" that other procedures take priority in a system under pressure.

Patients already on the waiting list will still be able to have the surgery in the public system but anyone not allocated an appointment will not be eligible.

Other procedures to be banned include breast enlargement or reduction, penile implant, hair transplant, facelift, gender re-assignment surgery and sterilisation reversal.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital surgery director Guy Maddern said it was 30 years or more since most purely cosmetic work had been performed in public hospitals.

"It's making it clear that operations will not be offered for cosmetic reasons but only for medically indicated reasons," he said.


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