‘Cosmetic cowboy’ clinic shuttered: court

A cosmetic surgery clinic named as part of the “cosmetic cowboys” scandal is in liquidation, a court has been told.

Hawthorn Day Surgery Pty Ltd, which traded as Cosmos Clinic in Melbourne, was due to face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday but failed to appear.

The company and one of its directors, Dr Reza Ahmadi, are facing charges of allegedly continuing to perform surgeries during Melbourne’s lockdowns in breach of chief health officer directions.

Magistrate Rosemary Falla was told Hawthorn Day Surgery was being “wound up” and liquidators had been appointed in June.

Dr Ahmadi, who was banned by the medical regulatory body from performing cosmetic surgery in April last year, appeared in court alongside his lawyer.

His lawyer told the court the case against his client had blown out, with what was previously a 161-page brief of evidence expanded last week to “4000-plus pages of materials”.

He requested, and Ms Falla approved, an adjournment to review the new material.

According to a statement on Cosmo Clinic’s website, Dr Ahmadi was employed as the medical director of the Melbourne branch in 2019 and operated the facility between February 2021 and January 2022.

“Cosmos Aesthetics head office, located in Sydney, was not aware that Dr Ahmadi was (allegedly) operating during Covid lockdown in Melbourne,” the statement said.

“As soon as Cosmos Aesthetics head office was made aware of Dr Ahmadi’s (alleged) operations during this time, an internal investigation was launched.

“Poor medical outcomes were also (allegedly) uncovered at this stage … the findings were reported to AHPRA due to concerns for the safety of the public and Dr Ahmadi’s employment with Cosmos was immediately terminated.”

Dr Ahmadi is now working as a general practitioner in the outer southwestern Melbourne suburb of Werribee.

Cosmos Clinics is facing the prospect of two class action lawsuits by law firms Maddens Lawyers and Goldman & Co, which say they’ve received dozens of complaints from patients.

Last year, Health Minister Mark Butler announced a crackdown on the cosmetic surgery industry following a series of reports by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes.

“These cosmetic cowboys have been riding unchecked for years,” he said in September.

“Australians deserve to have confidence in the safety and quality of the cosmetic surgery industry and these changes will provide that.”

Both Hawthorn Day Surgery Pty Ltd and Dr Ahmadi will return to court in December.

Originally published as Liquidators appointed for Hawthorn Day Surgery as company and director accused of breaching Melbourne’s lockdowns

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