Close gaps

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION OUR & YOURS -

WE’RE very glad Greg Hunt has climbed aboard our cam­paign for bet­ter pro­tec­tions for women who have breast im­plants that may ex­pose them to higher risk of cancer. Mr Hunt, the fed­eral Health Min­is­ter, says he agrees there must be a na­tional reg­is­ter of breast im­plant de­vices, so women at risk can be more eas­ily con­tacted and urged to get them­selves checked.

There is, how­ever, more for Mr Hunt to do. There is a wor­ry­ing gap in the reg­u­la­tions sur­round­ing med­i­cal de­vices like im­plants. No­body seems to be en­sur­ing that sur­geons fol­low up with pa­tients who might have com­pli­ca­tions re­lat­ing to pros­the­ses such as ar­ti­fi­cial knees, hips, stents, pace­mak­ers or other de­vices. We want gov­ern­ments to make it manda­tory for sur­geons to check women with high-risk breast im­plants for cancer every 12 months, and we also want all man­u­fac­tur­ers to be forced to pub­licly de­clare which sur­geons are re­ceiv­ing kick­backs and dis­counts for use of par­tic­u­lar de­vices.

We also want man­u­fac­tur­ers forced to dis­close their sales data so au­thor­i­ties can de­ter­mine where can­cers are clus­ter­ing, and trace the cases back to sur­geons. Be­fore too long, most of us will have some piece of hard­ware clank­ing around in­side our bod­ies. We all need them to be safe.

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