The West

A national registry to track all women who have received breast implants still does not exist despite the global health scare 12 months ago over potentially faulty implants.

With new figures showing a low take-up rate by affected women for a Medicare-funded scan to check whether their implants had ruptured, the Federal Government said it had no plans to set up a registry.

Doctors want a register to help trace patients after last year's crisis over the French-made Poly Implant Prothese brand of implants exposed gaps in medical record keeping.

Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons president Rod Cooter said the society and Monash University were testing a register at three hospitals in Adelaide and Melbourne to record details of all women receiving an implant.

He estimated it would cost $1.2 million a year to run the registry nationally. The society wants the Federal Government to pay 40 to 50 per cent of the cost, the equivalent of the value of how many implants are received each year by cancer patients who undergo a breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

The rest of the funding would come from breast implant manufacturers and other medical groups. The registry would be similar to one for joint replacements.

Professor Cooter said the goal was to roll out the registry to 400 institutions, from hospitals to day surgery clinics.

"It was evident with the PIP crisis that no one actually had the definitive answers and so each country had different policies based on different evidence," he said.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek's office referred _The West Australian _to the Health Department when asked whether the Government would fund the register.

"The department has currently no plans to establish a register," a spokeswoman said.

About 13,000 PIP implants were supplied in Australia between 1998 and 2010 but it is not known how many women received them.

The Government offered women Medicare rebates for MRI scans to see if their implants had ruptured but between March and November, only 1799 women had scans, Health Department data reveals.

The Medicare rebate will end on March 12.

The West Australian

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