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Mary Mitchell O’Connor welcomes new licensing system to regulate cosmetic surgery clinics

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Tuesday) welcomed the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly’s plans to regulate public and private healthcare providers, including cosmetic surgery clinics, so that patient safety can be improved and adequate standards ensured.

Deputy Mitchell O’Connor received a response to a Parliamentary Question she put down to the Minister asking for plans to update regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry, in light of the recent reporting of defective breast augmentation procedures.

“Minister Reilly is currently working on the Licensing of Health Facilities Bill which will provide for a mandatory system of licensing for public and private health service providers, including cosmetic surgery clinics. This will ensure that healthcare providers do not operate below core standards, helping to improve patient safety and public confidence.

“This will be viewed as a welcome move, especially by the women of the PIP Action Group who have been campaigning for full and proper regulation of the industry, with due regard being given to the devices and product materials being used in breast augmentation.

“The regulation of medical devices in Ireland, including where PIP implants are concerned, is governed by the EU. I welcome the fact that the European Commission has announced plans to revise the Medical Devices Directive with plans to ‘stress test’ any proposals put forward, to ensure they are suitable to detect and resolve the issues highlighted by the PIP implant case.

“The impact the PIP implant scandal has had on women who have undergone breast augmentations is immeasurable. In some cases the women still have not been informed by their clinicians as to what type of implant was used during their procedure. They have told me they are in a living hell, with their implants compared to a ticking time bomb and that they feel like they are being passed from pillar to post.

“Legislation to force all medical practitioners engaged in clinical practice to have adequate clinical indemnity insurance is also in the pipeline, with a timeline for its introduction planned for the end of the year. It is proposed to have this legislation in place by the end of the year.

“It is essential that a clear and unambiguous structure is in place for all public and private healthcare providers. There are clear lessons to be learned from the PIP implant cases. We must ensure they are acted on for the benefit of future generations.”

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