State to cover implant removal cost
Women fitted with faulty silicone breast implants who need them removed will have the cost covered by the state.
Chief medical officer (CMO) Tony Holohan had vowed to make the three clinics who used the industrial-grade gel take financial responsibility for further clinical care.
But he said the Harley Medical Group, where most of the 1,500 women were fitted with PIP implants from the now defunct French company Poly Implant Prosthese, has failed to provide an appropriate care package.
"The department (of health) is not satisfied that the Harley Medical Group will fulfil their obligations in an acceptable manner," Dr Holohan's office said in a statement.
"Consequently it has been decided that necessary care required by the affected recipients of these implants should be made available via an alternative route."
The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) will be used to pay for the women to undergo a surgical consultation, radiology if required, and the removal of implants if deemed clinically necessary.
The full cost to the taxpayer will be unknown until all the women have been assessed over the coming months.
Studies have found the industrial-grade silicone poses no health risks, including any increase of cancer.
Dr Holohan told members of the newly formed PIP Action Group about the proposal on Monday. Of the 1,550 women in Ireland believed to have had the implants over the last 10 years, 138 have experienced a rupture - 35 of whom had ruptures in both breasts.
A spokeswoman for the Harley Medical Group said the group had no comment.