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PIP Breasts Implants: Response to the CMO Statement

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO has today taken the unprecedented step of issuing a joint statement with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) regarding the treatment of women who were given faulty PIP Breast Implants.

In that statement the CMO has acknowledged that the Department of Health will no longer accept assurances given to him by the Harley Medical Group that they will fulfill their obligations in an acceptable manner.

RTE and other news organisations are presenting this statement as a promise that the State intends to “assume responsibility for cost of PIP implant removal”.

This is simply not what the CMO/NTPF have said. They say that they intend to “make suitable arrangements with appropriate facilities to provide such consultation and follow-on support as required.” That is not the same thing as paying for the access to those facilities.

What we do know from the statement is that if you are a woman with PIP implants any services made accessible by the state, on whatever payment terms, will be conditional on the following;

  1. You will not be permitted to choose the surgeon with whom you will consult. Instead, the National Treatment Purchase Fund will decide the identity of that surgeon.
  2. You will not get radiology (ie a scan) without the surgeon’s agreement
  3. Your implants will not be removed without the agreement of the surgeon.

Taken together, the right any woman has to decide what happens to her own body is being ignored by the CMO and NTPF under these conditions. It remains your right to insist that the PIP implants should come out as a matter of your choice.