HOPES for a skin clinic in Bendigo have been plunged into new uncertainty after the face of the company resigned and medical authorities launched a wider review into the cosmetic industry.
Dr Daniel Lanzer has resigned after a joint Four Corners, Age and Sydney Morning Herald investigation uncovered allegations that the media organisations said "exposes the alarming practices in the multi-billion-dollar cosmetic surgery industry".
The high profile cosmetic surgeon's company Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Services has clinics in multiple Australian states and this year applied to the City of Greater Bendigo to start up another clinic in Hargreaves Street.
Dr Lanzer's face and name appears prominently on advertising out the front of the Bendigo premises, along with the words "coming soon".
More news: Kangaroo Flat boy drowns at Lake Nagambie
The doctor resigned from the register of practitioners on December 2, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has said in a statement.
"This means he is no longer registered with immediate effect and cannot practise as a registered medical practitioner anywhere in Australia," a spokesperson for AHPRA said.
They said Dr Lanzer's decision to resign would not stop it's ongoing investigation into the cosmetic surgeon's conduct and performance.
Any regulatory outcome from the investigation would be considered if Dr Lanzer reapplied for registration in the future, the spokesperson said.
Dr Lanzer has previously characterised many of the media investigation's allegations as "misinformation" and stated he would not be talking to journalists about its claims.
"I am not going to respond to any of the ex-staffers' claims nor am I going to come forward with information relevant to the turf war which prompted the surgeons to criticize me," he wrote in an Instagram post.
"Instead I have commissioned an independent assessment of the allegations and the practices in my clinics to ensure they maintain highest standards [sic] of care that have been a hallmark of my 30 year career."
Dr Lanzer's Instagram page and the company's Facebook account appear to no longer be publicly displaying content.
A notice on the company's webpage says the site is "currently under review" and that Dr Lanzer has retired.
He is not the only health worker associated with Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Services and the Bendigo Advertiser has reached out to the company for comment about its status and any plans for the Hargreaves Street site.
Dr Lanzer ownes the premises, according to documents lodged during the planning process with the City of Greater Bendigo.
The documents suggest a renovation of the former Radio Rentals space would create a space with eight treatment rooms.
The clinic would specialise in dermatological treatments, as well as offer laser hair removal and cosmetic injecting.
The plans were lodged with the council months before media organisations published their allegations and the council is still to make a decision about them.
It must make that decision on the planning merits of the application itself, not any medical considerations.
Last Tuesday, AHPRA launched a fresh review of patient safety issues in the cosmetic sector that would include looking at ways to strengthen risk-based regulation of practitioners.
The external review will take place at a time when the sector has grown rapidly into a multi-million entrepreneurial industry.
AHPRA chief executive Martin Fletcher said some "worrying features" set the industry apart from normal medical practices.
"[They include] corporate business models which are alleged to place profit over patient safety, no medical need for cosmetic procedures, limited factual information for consumers and exponential growth in social media that emphasises benefits and downplays risks," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.