However, I did gather that some doctors in Singapore have been offering beauty treatments which are "scientifically unsubstantiated". The issue is whether these doctors should be stopped, and if so, how.
For more background, refer to these doctors' blogs - Angry Doctor; Alien Doc; and No Fear Singapore. (Notice how doctors tend to choose such unusual blogging names for themselves).
Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan has taken the position that the Ministry will step in only as far as invasive, high-risk procedures are concerned.
Thus the Ministry will not bother to intervene with non-risky beauty treatments, even if their benefits are not scientifically proven. Instead the Ministry will leave it to the medical profession to regulate itself on such matters, through organisations such as the Academy of Medicine.
In my opinion (although Angry Doctor would furiously disagree), Khaw's approach is very sensible.
I am quite confident that most, if not all, the aesthetic treatments offered by your neighbourhood HDB beautician are also "scientifically unsubstantiated". This does not mean that all these aesthetic treatments do not work.
It merely means that the treatment either does not work, or the treatment works, but has not been "scientifically" proven to work. And most of the time, the latter simply means that scientists have not bothered to do research on that particular treatment.
Which is quite alright, if the treatment does not harm or hurt you. It just means that you may have wasted some of your money on your neighbourhood HDB beautician. Your loss. Next time, try some other fruit or vegetable.
Now the question then is whether we should regard doctors who provide aesthetic treatments in the same light as neighbourhood HDB beauticians.
Obviously there is some risk to the reputation of the medical profession, if many doctors go around offering beauty treatments which are non-risky but scientifically unsubstantiated to be beneficial.
The reputational risk to the medical profession would decrease, if these doctors offer beauty treatments which are non-risky and scientifically unsubstantiated, and actually work. (Happy patients don't file complaints).
But either way, the potential damage is only to (1) the medical profession's reputation, and (2) the patient's purse.
If you're not a doctor, well, frankly, who cares about Risk (1). And if you're the patient, well, Risk (2) is no different from the kind of risk you face, going to any beauty salon or parlour.
So I think Khaw is quite wise to leave it to the medical profession to regulate itself.