NTPF to help address PIP Breast Implant Problem

The Chief Medical Officer (Dr Tony Holohan) said yesterday (04/07/12) that the main objective of the Department of Health has been to insure that the three clinics involved in the Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) controversy in Ireland provide professional and appropriate care to the women that are are affected by the problems with PIP's breast implants. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has stated that this has not been the case and the Department of Health will have to source alternative services for many patients through the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF).

In some cases the NTPF will have to fund basic support for patients. NTPF will help patients with surgical consultation, implant removal (if deemed clinically necessary) and follow on support. The Department will be working towards developing a plan that will come into effect by September 2012.

The CMO met with the clinics involved to makes sure that the best patient care and support were provided, however the CMO had concerns about one provider, The Harley Medical Group. According to the CMO the Harley Medical Group "failed to provide an appropriate care package for its clients".

The CMO now recommends that the NTPF should be used to help patients who had received PIP implants from the Harley Medical Group. The CMO met with the PIP Action Group on Monday (02/07/12) to tell them of the problems with the service provider and he plans to meet with them in September to advise them on what will happen.

In a press statement the PIP Action Group Ireland said " We are disappointed that the clinic in question has not fulfilled its commitment given to the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan as set out in the Oireachtas Health and Children Committee meeting in May 2012. We welcome that the Department of Health will now take the lead on delivering this care package to PIP Patients however we still feel that this should be the role of the clinic involved as previously stated. " 

The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) and the Department of Health is advising patients that there is no increased risk of cancer for women with the implant and that the risk of rupture is low but that anyone concerned should visit their GP or surgeon.