Greater consumer protection planned following PIPs scandal
Cosmetic surgery insurance may be introduced in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal. NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who is leading a government review into cosmetic procedures, said there should be a protection fund, paid for by the cosmetic industry, which could be used to fund aftercare treatment or if there is a similar cosmetic scare. He told Radio 4 that the scheme would work in a similar way to the insurance protection scheme in place in the travel industry. '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,' said Keogh. However, there are fears within the industry that private clinics will pass the cost on to patients by raising treatment costs. Such a scheme would aim to avoid the need for the taxpayer to pick up the bill if cosmetic procedures went wrong. Following the PIPs scandal, the Government said patients who had their surgery on the NHS will be able to have the implants removed and replaced for free but many private clinic groups have refused to replace them without charge. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) has used the review to once again call on the Government to ban any advertising of cosmetic surgery. Baaps president Fazal Fatah said: 'In no other area of surgery would one encounter Christmas vouchers and two-for-one offers - the pendulum has swung too far, and it is time for change.'