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What is the minimum age for Cosmetic Surgery Procedures around the world?

Cosmetic Procedure Laws and Regulations Around the World

As part of our Global Healthcare Inequalities in Numbers, we are looking at which healthcare systems around the world are deemed the fairest for patient equality, based on the current laws and regulations in place.

Finally, we dissected the different territories on our seed list and their views on cosmetic surgery procedures. When it came to this section, we awarded higher scores to countries that had higher age ranges for cosmetic procedures, and lower for locations that allowed very young individuals to opt into these non-essential surgeries. 

What is the minimum age for Cosmetic Surgery Procedures around the world?

Top of the list was Singapore, where one must wait to the age of 21 to undergo a cosmetic procedure. This scored them 5.5/10 in this category, despite coming 35th on the seed list of equality overall. A score this low could have been contributed to by a rating of 0/10 for their smear test regulations, as well as the nations stance on offering no free birth control to residents. 

In second place was Japan, where the minimum age for cosmetic surgery is set at 20. This scored them 5/10 in this section, and placed them 27th on the list. This overall ranking could be due in part to a fairly low maximum IVF age of 43, as well as making transgender people wait until they are 18 to start any form of hormone treatments. 

Joint third place was Canada, Norway, Australia, Malta, Italy, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, with a minimum age limit of 18. This could potentially lead to people undergoing cosmetic surgeries that are dangerous or that they end up regretting at a later age, due to passing viral trends like BBLs (Brazilian butt lifts).

Worryingly, the nations of Spain, Poland, United States, Sweden, Austria, Iceland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, and Germany have no minimum age at all, which leads on to ask the question: Why are children old enough to make decisions around cosmetic procedures, but not those referring to their gender identity? 

All of these territories are allowing people of any age to undergo cosmetic surgery, but embark on rigorous psychological and physical tests in order to start HRT, which highlights extreme healthcare inequality when it comes to transgender individuals. 

Hayley Levene, Head of Marketing at Radar Healthcare discusses how technology and data can help with decision making: 

“Radar Healthcare partners with organisations such as Public Policy Projects who are learning from experience (both their own and others) to make contributions to the policy debate which address real-world choices on the basis of real-world evidence. 

“As a healthcare supplier, Radar Healthcare is passionate about helping to make a difference and delivering improved outcomes. Working with PPP to produce reports such as ‘The Social Care Workforce: averting a crisis’, ‘The Digital Divide: reducing inequalities for better health’ and ‘Integrating Health and Social Care: a national care service’ is vital in helping to drive change and improve some of these health inequalities.

“For example, technology could offer oversight that 80% of patients or healthcare workers themselves are having suicidal thoughts – and this could prompt a process to be followed to tackle it, which will encourage decisions of change.”

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Methodology and data sources: 

The Health Inequalities Report by the experts at Radar Healthcare discovers which of the world’s most developed countries offer the best healthcare in regards to a wide range of healthcare rights for citizens through their regulations and laws.

Taking a seed list of the top 35 most developed countries around the world, the report reveals the laws relating to the following in order to assess the biggest areas of inequality across different territories and how it impacts those of different genders, age groups, financial and sociological status, parenthood, surgery, birth control, and abortions: 

  1. The legal age of consent – the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts
  2. Doctor / patient confidentiality ages – the age a resident can speak confidentiality to a healthcare professional without parents/guardians being informed
  3. Cervical cancer screening – what age are they recommended for women around the world
  4. Mammogram screening tests – what age are they recommended for women
  5. Flu vaccines – at what age is this offered to elderly residents around the globe
  6. IVF treatment age range – how does your age impact your chances of becoming a parent via in-vitro in different countries around the world
  7. Cosmetic surgery – at what ages can someone have a cosmetic surgery procedure
  8. Transgender hormone treatment – at what age do healthcare practitioners in different countries allow transgender patients to start hormone treatment
  9. Access to birth control around the world – (age requirements/costs/the countries offering free birth control)
  10. Abortion laws – how do they differ across the world
  11. Maternity leave laws – How much maternity leave are new mothers legally entitled to both paid and unpaid
  12. Paternity Leave – Parental right for working fathers/partners around the world