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No support for women after faulty implants

WOMEN who had faulty breast implants are having to pay for operations to have them removed despite a pledge by the Government to help them.

THE French-made PIP implants were used on around 1,500 Irish women.

Nearly 140 women have experienced ruptures in their implants which means that industrial grade silicon -- normally used to make mattresses -- has leaked into their bodies.

However, the Department of Health confirmed that to date, not one cent has been given.

This is despite a promise by Health Minister James Reilly last July that the State would pay for scans and operations in cases where the women's own cosmetic surgery clinics failed to provide care.

Delay

Sarita Clery of the PIP Action Group said: "We haven't been told what the delay is. We're not privy to any information. We've had to have our own operations and pay for them."

Ms Clery said they have turned to advocacy group Patient Focus to fight for them.

Between 2001 and 2010, PIP implants were fitted by the Harley Medical Group, Shandon Street Hospital in Cork and Clane Hospital in Co Kildare.

Many of those who attended the Clane and Shandon clinics have had the implants removed at the clinics in question.

Difficulties have arisen, according to the department, for patients of the Harley Medical Group which fitted implants for 1,159 women. Dr Reilly said last summer that the State would help those treated there as it had "failed to provide an appropriate care package".

hnews@herald.ie