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.