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State 'has broken promise' to help PIP implant victims

ALMOST one in eight of the 1,550 Irish women who received faulty PIP breast implants have suffered ruptures.

And despite government promises to help, none of the victims have had them removed under the State health system.

The founder of the French firm behind the implants, which were filled with industrial-grade silicone often used in sofas, was last month given four years' prison for fraud. But the nightmare continues for women here, with the Irish Medicines Board confirming 212 had suffered a single or double rupture.

The Department of Health said last year it would provide treatment for victims.


But officials have confirmed that no one has been helped and said they had no figures on how many were waiting to have implants removed.

"Along with other priorities, the issue of providing services to women affected by PIP implants is being considered by the HSE and the Department in the context of the 2014 Service Plan," a spokesman added.

But advocacy group Patient Focus said it was worrying that the issue was only "being considered". "The first sentence is most concerning," added spokeswoman Brigid Doherty.

"I would've expected it would have been agreed and the funding ring-fenced for the care package promised to have been included in the 2014 budget.

"It was originally to be part of the 2013 budget. The women have been waiting a long time.


"Many women have had the implants removed on health grounds and not replaced because they couldn't afford it. Some had them removed and replaced and quite a number are waiting and hoping the HSE will provide a package of care."

In October, the European Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks published its second review of the implants.

The report stated: "There is no convincing data to justify removal of intact PIP implants as a precautionary approach."

The HSE directed queries regarding PIP implants to the Department of Health.