THE CHIEF MEDICAL officer at the Department of Health will address the Oireachtas Health Committee later today on the issue of the controversial PIP silicone breast implants.
Dr Tony Holohan will detail the Department’s response to the recent scandal surrounding the use of industrial grade silicone for breast implants instead of the use of medical grade silicone by the French manufacturer, PIP.
In March, the Irish Medicines Board said that a number of women in Ireland who underwent breast augmentation surgery prior to 2001 could have received defective implants in addition to some 1,500 women who received the PIP implants between 2001 and 2010.
The Committee heard last month that the State should foot the bill for the removal of the faulty implants as has been the case in other countries.
Speaking yesterday, the Committee chairman Jerry Buttimer said: “The Committee will be keen to know if the Department has a precise figure on the number of women in Ireland that are affected by this product.
“We will also want to know what assistance is being offered to women affected. It will also give us a chance to get the Chief Medical Officer’s views on the regulation, or lack thereof, of clinics providing this surgery and other cosmetic surgeries in Ireland.
“The NHS in the United Kingdom has set up a dedicated helpline for women affected and we will want to know if the Chief Medical Officer would consider establishing a similar system in the Republic.”
The meeting takes place today at 11.30am in Committee Room and proceedings can be watched here.