Iceland: problem breast implants to be removed at cost of government

Following international controversy over the possible danger of breakage in PIP breast implants, the Icelandic government has decided to bear the cost of patient monitoring and implant removal, where necessary.

All women in Iceland with PIP implants will be called in for a medical examination in the near future and any implants which appear damaged will be safely removed at the cost of the state.

Icelandic Minister of Welfare Guðbjartur Hannesson announced the plan yesterday, which means that 440 women will be called upon to attend mammary examinations in the near future. Each of the 440 women has undergone breast enlargement surgery which involved the French-made PIP silicone implants; the newly discovered dangers of which have been in the international media recently. The implants have been taken off the market across Europe.

The implants will be removed if any damage to them is apparent in the examination and the state will pay all costs, except the ISK 30,000 (EUR 189) admission and operative fee. The government will not pay to remove implants which are not damaged.

Guðbjartur told RÚV that nothing has yet been decided about what will happen next. “It is expected that the women will be under continued observation. There is no danger to speak of if the implants are okay,” he says — adding that the Icelandic government is going further in the matter than authorities in most other neighbouring countries.

“We will monitor if there is any liability to bring in the case; whether it is on the manufacturer in France, which has now actually gone under, or from the doctor here who was involved; we will try to seek out our [legal] rights,” He said.

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