The Irish Association for Plastic Surgeons has called for the cosmetic surgery industry to be regulated.

The organisation has said that the issues surrounding the controversial PIP breast implants had highlighted the problems caused by the lack of regulation.

Currently, there is no regulation of the facilities which offer cosmetic surgical procedures and neither is there any specific regulation of those carrying out those procedures.

Association President Dr Patricia Eadie said there was currently no law stopping any doctor doing whatever procedure they wanted even if they had no training in it.

She said she would like to see firm regulation of the sector, setting down who can do plastic surgery, where it should be done and who can do what procedures.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health Tony Holohan said it will only be necessary to remove PIP implants in 10% to 15% of cases in Britain and Ireland.

Surgical consultations have been given to women with the PIP breast implants, which contain unapproved industrial grade silicon.

It was announced yesterday that the State would cover the cost of removing the implants from Irish women who had them implanted by the Harley Medical Group.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Dr Holohan said that international data collected in recent months has provided reassurances that in most cases PIP implants have no greater long-term impact than other implants.

He said: "We know from data in the UK and with some of the other providers in this country that have provided surgical consultation to all of their women, that in and around 10 to 15% of people are having implants removed."

The Department’s decision to pay for removal has been welcomed by patient group Patient Focus.