After the problems cosmetic surgery patients have
had in the wake of the faulty French breast implants with two leading cosmetic
surgery groups effectively refusing to help customers, Professor Sir Bruce
Keogh, who is leading a government review into the risks from faulty breast
implants, suggests a compulsory insurance scheme.
The suggestion is that it would work like the
bonding on travel, where customers are protected if companies go bust.
But the problem here is not providers going bust,
but their product.
Another problem is that it can be a matter of
judgment as to whether or not a cosmetic surgery operation has failed or
succeeded; the customer may just be unhappy with the outcome or find that
better looks do not make them happier.
There have been several cosmetic surgery
insurances in recent years, but all have folded due to poor demand and the high
costs of dealing with a claim when it is alleged that something has gone wrong.
Speaking to the BBC about the potential insurance plan, Keogh, said:
“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.” This fails to understand how the Abta travel
cover actually operates – it never has and never will “pay out if a company
runs into trouble for any reason".