Video: State won't pay for removal of suspect breast implants
Published 24/12/2011 | 05:00
UP to 1,500 Irish women who had suspect breast implants will not get State aid to have them removed.
The Department of Health confirmed it will not fund operations by those who opt to have them removed, as the procedures were carried out at private clinics.
However, the French government said it will foot the bill for women who had the implants for medical reasons.
Its health ministry has urged 30,000 women with the implants to have them taken out due to fears they could rupture, although there is no proven cancer risk.
The health authorities here are more cautious and said there was no evidence of health risks due to the implants, which are made of suspect silicone gel.
The Department of Health has not advised women to have the implants removed.
The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) advised women with the Poly Implant Prosthese (PIP) implants to seek advice from their surgeon if they had any concerns. It "noted" the findings of a French expert committee that there was "no evidence of increased risk of cancer for women with the implants compared to women with implants by other manufacturers".
"The IMB notes the preventative and non urgent recommendation made by the French Ministry for French women with these implants to discuss or consider explantation with their implanting surgeon," it said.
"In co-operation with other EU colleagues, the IMB will continue to monitor this issue."
Dr Patrick Treacy of the Ailesbury Clinic in Dublin said the implants are unlikely to cause any problems "if left alone".
He said the advice of regulatory authorities in other countries was that there was no need for panic over the implants, which are made from industrial- rather than medical-quality silicone.
The French health ministry advised women with the implants made by French firm PIP to have them removed in case they ruptured.