Mr. Steven Fletcher
Mr. Speaker, Canada remains only one of two major industrial countries where silicon gel implants have not been available. Now they are and that puts us in accord with international standards.
It is interesting to note that Health Canada has taken four years to review over 65,000 pages of manufacturers' information and test results submitted to meet the safety and effectiveness requirements of the medical device regulations.
Health Canada has convened an expert advisory panel to consider the information and questions raised during the review process. This panel has also heard from members of the public, health care professionals and other scientists on the issue of silicon filled breast implants. Health Canada has received and considered the advice of the panel in its review.
Canadians can rest assured that Health Canada is doing everything in its power to ensure the safety, health and well-being of Canadians. I would also like to stress that Health Canada has taken strong measures to ensure Canadians are protected through every step of the process.
It is evident from the hon. member's question that she does not believe that the safety and effectiveness of silicon gel breast implants have been established. However, in the past 15 years silicon breast implants have become the most intensely studied medical device in the world. There have been a number of strong, well controlled studies undertaken by independent researchers. There have been more than 2,500 scientific articles published in the scientific literature. More than 100 million patients in 78 countries have received breast implants over the--