The chief executive of the Irish Medicines Board, Pat O'Mahony, has today criticised the lack of regulation in the area of cosmetic surgery in Ireland after it emerged that around 1,550 women in Ireland have been fitted with the controversial PIP breast implants.
No evidence has been found to recommend the routine removal of the implants, which contain non medical-grade silicone, although questions have been raised about a possible link to cancer.
Mr O'Mahony, appearing before the Oireachtas Health Committee, heavily criticised the Harley Medical Group, one of the private cosmetic surgery clinics who fitted the implants.
He said that the company is responsible for 1,100 of the women affected, but is making it difficult for around 1,000 of these to see their surgeon again.
"We have no statutory basis for having access to these clinics or access to their individual patient files or anything like that," he said.
"They're not accountable, they're not within any approval system, they're private clinics and they're not accountable.
"In essence, they can do what they want."