PIP implant removal to be offered free
NHS patients will be offered free information, consultations, scans, removal and replacement if necessary.
Women who've had PIP implants fitted privately were told that the government "expects" private health care providers to offer the same service.
Private health care providers have "moral" duty
"We believe that private healthcare providers have a moral duty to offer the same service to their patients that we will offer to NHS patients - free information, consultations, scans and removal if necessary." Said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley on Friday, 6th January.
However many women feel that "morals" and government expectations may not be enough to ensure their safety especially those whose implants were fitted by clinics no longer in existence.
Simone3412 on the sofeminine.co.uk breast surgery forum says, "I had my breast implants done in October 2001, at the national centre for cosmetic surgery in Birmingham, and I have no idea if the implants are PIP or not. The clinic no longer exists, so I have no one to ask, I am so worried, I don't have the money to get the implants removed and replaced."
Though Simone3412 has also written to her surgeon (now working in Italy) she has received no response.
The NHS will help
However the BBC also reported that if clinics refused to help former patients or if the clinic no longer exists then they could be treated free of charge on the NHS in all but the replacement of ruptured implants.
The NHS will remove faulty implants but replacements would need to be paid for by the individual in additional private treatments.
The government has vowed to ensure taxpayers do not pick up the bill as they've pledged to "pursue private clinics with all the means as its disposal..."
The Department of Health has also reiterated that they have found 'no risk of dangerous toxins leaking into the body if an implant did rupture.' However they also stated that they're 'not confident that the manufacturer did not change the silicone in the implants, so cannot rule out the possibility that some are toxic'.
The Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health have pledged to examine the way private health care companies and their data are regulated to try and prevent this sort of crisis reoccurring.
What the NHS offer for those with PIP Implants:
If you had PIP Implants fitted by the NHS or by a private healthcare company who is refusing you treatement or is no longer in existance you will be eligible forthe following...
>> All women who have received an implant from the NHS will be contacted to inform them that they have a PIP implant and to provide relevant information and advice. If in the meantime NHS patients seek information about the make of their implant then this will be provided free of charge.
>> Women who wish to will able to seek a consultation with their GP, or with the surgical team who carried out the original implant, to seek clinical advice on the best way forward. If the woman chooses, this could include an examination by imaging to see if there is any evidence that the implant has ruptured.
>>The NHS will support removal of PIP implants if, informed by an assessment of clinical need, risk or the impact of unresolved concerns, a woman with her doctor decides that it is right to do so.
>>The NHS will replace the implants if the original operation was done by the NHS