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Cosmetic Insurance scheme could be introduced

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An insurance scheme for cosmetic surgery patients could be introduced due to the recent PIP implant scandal affecting women in the UK.

Over the past few months it has been alleged that implants manufactured by a French company that use Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) have been used by 40,000 women in the UK and were harmful to their health which sparked a major health crisis around the UK.

Women who opted for private care when having the implants have now been left to figure out for themselves what to do and if they should get them removed. If women went to a private clinic they have got to pay for the removal of the implants themselves which could cost up to £5,000.

It has never been confirmed if the implants are dangerous to women it has all been speculation and there is an on-going battle between different health experts in various countries as to whether there is or isn’t potential damage to women who have the PIP implants.

Cosmetic surgery patients who do not have the money to pay to have implants removed could be poised to benefit from a possible new insurance scheme that would offer protection for such scenarios.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley proposed the review in December 2011 into a review of PIP implants particularly looking at how private clinics were dealing with the faulty surgery after they said it would cost too much for them to rectify.

Andrew Lansley appointed Sir Bruce Keogh, a NHS Medical Director to lead the review, Keogh mentioned the prospect of Cosmetic Surgery Insurance could be similar to the protection that the travel industry have in place.

Speaking on Radio 4’s The Report he detailed ways in which the insurance may be put together saying: “One of the things my review will be looking at will be something like the ABTA arrangement, which means that when a company runs into trouble for whatever reason, the consumer is covered.”

The way that ABTA run their insurance policy is that companies pay a subscription fee to become members of ABTA, which provides funds for people to fall back on should a problem occur.

In two weeks time meetings will be held to review data from the evidence that Sir Bruce Keogh finds with private clinics and about the failure of implants.

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By Amanda Bainbridge