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Gastric Band operation aftercare

Hi Brian, I wonder if you can help? I had a gastric band procedure with Advanced Cosmetic Surgery last Oct at a cost of €10,000, to include a year's aftercare - I had about 3 months aftercare, there was a scandal attached to the death of another client and the company went into liquidation. Another company took over (UK based) and said they'd take on the clients and honour the aftercare (though not in writing!) - they were just waiting for their surgeons to be registered by the IMC. They've now backtracked and say they will not cover it, and I will have to pay €150 per visit for the aftercare with them, possibly another 5 visits minimum. Is there any merit in trying to get some of my (borrowed) €10k back from the liquidators of the original company? I'm left high and dry and feeling very let down. Many thanks, Deborah.

To answer the question directly – it depends on whether or not there is any money in the liquidated company to pay unsecured creditors, one of which you are.  The liquidator is obliged to prepare a statement of affairs which will ultimately be lodged in the Companies Office.  There will also be various company meetings to which you, as an unsecured creditor, will be invited.  Just make sure that the liquidator is aware of your claim, at least part of which includes the aftercare aspects not honoured. 

I would be inclined, however, to investigate another approach here.  The surgeons who conducted this operation may be under a professional obligation under Irish medical practice to provide the aftercare and it may not be good enough for them to plead that they were employees or sub-contractors of a limited company.

I’m sure that the surgeons did a fine job but the whole essence of professional service is that you put your reputation on the line every time you take action on behalf of a patient and my advice to this listener would be to talk to the surgeons directly through their private practices and ask them will they provide the aftercare without charge.  If they refuse, talk to the Medical Council http://www.medicalcouncil.ie  and find out if they are obliged under terms of their professional practice to do this without further charge, and act accordingly.

If all fruit fails, you should consult a Solicitor who has experience in medical ethics law.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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