Pressure on clinic to agree deal on removing implants

There was growing pressure on the Harley Medical Group last night to agree a deal on the removal and replacement of PIP breast implants from the 1,100 women affected by the defective products.

Representatives of the PIP Action group held a second meeting yesterday with the chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan and a third meeting with the Irish Medicines Board (IMB). The meetings came a day after Dr Holohan told an Oireachtas Committee that he wanted the clinics who inserted the PIP implants to deal with the women affected.

The PIP Action group will hold an information day today in the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin.

Spokeswomen Lisa Fair said the group was adamant that the Harley Medical Group — which inserted the implants in approximately 1,100 women — should “take a duty of care to remove and replace these products.” She added that the cost should not fall on the taxpayer.

A total of 1,500 women received the implants at either the Harley Group in Dublin, Clane Hospital or at the Shandon Street Clinic in Cork, which has since gone into liquidation.

The 200 women who received the implants at Clane have been told that in the event of a rupture the implants will be removed and replaced free of charge. Clane clients who wish to have the implants removed preemptively can do so for a cut-price rate of between €1,800 and €2,000.

A further 200 women had the implants placed at the Shandon Street facility. Ms Fair said she was unaware of any of these women being part of the PIP Action Group but yesterday a spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “Any woman treated in Shandon Street Clinic was a client of the Hospital Group who have assured the department all women have been written to and those needing further care have been dealt with appropriately.”

“The rupture rate as reported to the IMB is in the region of 7.5%; it is seen to be increasing worldwide,” a Department of Health spokesperson said. “On average it is estimated that there is a 10% to 15% rupture risk within 10 years of implantation.

Mother-of-three Jean Noctor, from Wicklow, said: “We feel we’ve stepped forward a bit.

The 31-year-old, who had her breast implants fitted in 2007 through the Harley Medical Group, described the last few months as a waiting game.

“I know everything is being tested and data is being collected, but I’m worried that in a couple of years down the line that something will come back that is really seriously damaging to our health,” she said.

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