The Welsh Government has announced that it will pay for the removal of the banned Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) implants from privately treated patients.
The faulty PIP implants are the subject of a Medical Device Alert (MDA) by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA); a recall was issued on March 31 2010 for all UK implants following concerns about an increase in rupture rates.
The UK Government announced on Friday 6 January that there is no need for routine removal of PIP breast implants, which over 40,000 women in the UK have received. The Welsh Government believes that women are being placed under undue risk by not having the implants removed, and have therefore agreed to pay for removal.
To qualify for the operation, patients must prove they have consulted their private clinic. If their clinic is not willing to replace the implants, patients will be able to have them removed under the NHS, providing they are resident, and registered with a GP in Wales.
Mark Harvey, Partner and Head of Litigation at Hugh James solicitors is representing over 650 women with PIP implants. Mark says “This is a bold and welcome step by the Welsh government and NHS and will I am sure come as a great relief to those affected. Whilst it remains my view that the clinics owe a legal as well as a moral duty to put right what they made profits implanting, my primary concern and aim has always been for my clients’ welfare and this is a very welcome announcement. However I do hope that the NHS recovers its outlay from the private sector and we will be happy to work with them to make this happen.”