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Doctors: law must cover breast implants

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Doctors: law must cover breast implants
Photo: DPA
08:32 CET+01:00
Germany's doctors are calling for tighter laws on medical products after it was revealed that at least 25 women in the country had burst breast implants – and an unknown number will have to have theirs removed.

“We need to improve current standards. The medical product law must be checked for loopholes,” president of the Medical Association Frank Ulrich Montgomery told the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper on Thursday.

Better checks would not be enough on their own, he said.

And he criticised those statutory insurers which have been unwilling to finance the removal of the toxic implants manufactured by French firm PIP.

“This is about an urgent medical indication,” he said. The rules which demand a patient pay at least in part for cosmetic surgery, should be lifted in this case, he said.

He also called for surgeons without specialist qualifications to be barred from carrying out cosmetic operations.

French authorities warned against the PIP implants in December after studies there showed about one in 30 were likely to burst because the firm had used cheap silicone.

The scandal created confusion in Germany as central records of how many people have such implants are not kept, although the regulatory Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices told The Local in a statement that it is attempting to determine those numbers. It is thought that worldwide up to half a million women have PIP implants.

At least 180 women in Hamburg have come forward to say their breast implants were made by PIP, radio station NDR 90.3 reported on Thursday morning.

Those who suffer a burst – and those who have to undergo an additional operation to remove dangerous implants could have great difficulty getting compensation, as the company has gone bankrupt.

The founder of the firm Jean-Claude Mas has, according to French newspaper Le Figaro, distributed his money among other firms, and written much of it over to his family, including a villa currently for sale for €1.6 million.

DAPD/The Local/hc

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