The news about Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) implants has been breaking like waves on the shore over the last few months. It’s a worrying situation if you happen to be an NHS patient who has had implanted material, but at least the NHS will stand by its responsibilities and offer you treatment if you have concerns that an implant is failing.
As for the people who have chosen to pay for implants, while I wouldn’t want to detract from their concerns the situation is different. Let’s consider the scenario without the pathos.
If we were talking about, say, a tattoo instead of an implant, both a matter of choice, both carried out by a skilled operative, both using products to enhance a “look”, there is a strong parallel…
…and then let’s imagine that we found out that the ink used could break down in 10% of cases and slowly poison its host…how would we apply the logic?
Firstly, anyone that became ill as a result would still be treated on the NHS. Anyone who did not become ill would probably still look for someone to sue for damages. Now that the focus is on “whiplash” scams, it would be an ideal cash cow replacement for the personal injury lawyers.
So, let’s now revert back to the implant clinics who claim they “can’t afford” to compensate the people they have helped to injure. Where is their surgeons’ Professional Indemnity Insurance? Why is no one making a claim against it? Why should the Tax Payer foot the bill instead? If it was a tattoo it wouldn’t even be suggested…
Well, if surgeons do have successful claims made against their PI Insurance, then their premiums would rise enormously to prohibitive levels and they would be unable to practice…is that their fault or should they have an implant approvals body to fall back on?
Funnily enough, we have an option in Wales, the Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory, based in Bridgend will approve medical products, but England has no such approvals agency.
England seems to rely on the European CE marking…pip, pip!