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Chief Medical Officer urged to seek replacement of PIP implants

Solicitors working on behalf of some women affected by the defective PIP breast implants have called for the implants to be replaced, and not just removed.

A woman whose PiP impants ruptured shows the removed implants.
A woman whose PiP impants ruptured shows the removed implants.
Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

A SOLICITOR REPRESENTING a number of Irish women who were fitted with defective breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothèses (PIP) has called for the implants to be replaced and not just removed.

In a letter to the chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, McGarr Solicitors writes that any hospital’s refusal to replace or to refund the costs of implantation are in breach of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act.

The letter states: “You will notice that the 1980 Act mandates replacement of defective goods, not just their “recall”.

“We urge you therefore, not to discuss any proposals from the hospitals, limited to removal as opposed to replacement. To do otherwise would be to undermine our clients’ statutory rights.”

Dr Holohan said last week that the three clinics who used implants which contained industrial grade silicone will cover the cost of removal of the implants from the more than 1,500 women in Ireland affected.

He told an Oireachtas Health Committee that to do date 138 ruptures of the PIP implants had been reported in Ireland and outlined some problems with a delay in hospitals involved responding to correspondence from the Irish Medical Board.

The solicitor’s letter also calls for any removal of the implants to be carried out by a surgeon not involved in the original implantation as this would would not be appropriate.

The letter adds: “There are many surgeons in Ireland qualified and available to give the necessary advice and, importantly, make the necessary assessments of the claimants’ injuries and who have not been employed by the defendant hospitals in the supply of PIP implants.

“We particularly advise against any proposal that the defendant hospitals should arrange the removal of the PIP breast implants.”

Dr Holohan told the Oireachtas Committee last week that the provider “acknowledges and accepts that it has a duty of care to the women and is fully dedicated to helping its PIP patients as much as it can.”

Read: Implant removal cost will be met by clinics – Chief Medical Officer

Previously: State ‘should pay to remove PIP implants’

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Hugh O'Connell

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