Controversial cosmetic surgeon Daniel Lanzer has made a legally binding commitment to stop practicing medicine in Australia in the wake of a joint Four Corners study with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) issued the shock message days after the study revealed allegations of disruptive practices at dermatologists’ clinics, including hygiene and safety breaches and procedures that had left patients with ongoing physical and psychological problems.
Dr. Lanzer was one of the country’s most successful cosmetic surgeons, with day hospitals in Melbourne and Brisbane, facilities in Sydney and Perth and a chain of skin clinics under planning.
Videos and images of practices on the popular network of clinics were described by plastic surgeons as “dizzying” and “dangerous”, while previous patients spoke of being left with scars and with “years of their lives ruined”.
Earlier this week, Federal Health Secretary Greg Hunt said he had referred to “serious allegations” being sent in the program to the AHPRA.
In a statement released Friday night, the AHPRA said that their investigations into Dr. Lanzer’s clinics were in operation, but that the medical board had accepted a promise from Dr. Lanzer that he would not practice as a doctor in any form in Australia.
Since the program was broadcast, dozens of patients have turned up to detail their experiences at Dr. Lanzers clinics.
AHPRA has appointed a dedicated officer to deal with the patient’s concerns about Dr. Lanzer.
Earlier on Friday, Dr. Lanzer told staff via WhatsApp that he enjoyed a break and wanted to clear his name of these “ridiculous accusations”.
He also removed the content from his popular TikTok account, which has over 5 million followers.
Dr. Lanzer’s clinics in Sydney and Melbourne are closed, and a call center in the Philippines said they would not accept reservations in Melbourne at least until next year.
Many of the patients who spoke to Four Corners said they had been lured in by Dr. Lanzer’s brave presence on social media and of brilliant reviews of him and his team.
The Four Corners study also revealed evidence that a patient was paid to remain silent.
In the wake of the Four Corners program, the Victorian government announced it was investigating changes to the rules of cosmetic surgery.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley described the study of practice on Dr. Lanzers clinics as “very worrying”.
The Australian Medical Association also called on the country’s health ministers to close the “loophole” that currently allows anyone with a basic medical degree to call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon”.
It argued that the title “surgeon” should be reserved for people who have been accredited by a specialist medical school.
Earlier this week, Dr. The Lanzer Four Corners report as “unadulterated”, “unfair” and “misinformation”.
You can see the entire study on iview.