Vetting for keyhole surgery

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The Independent Online
A vetting system to evaluate the safety and efficiency of major medical advances, such as keyhole surgery, is to be set up to protect patients from untried techniques by untrained doctors, Gerald Malone, the health minister, said yesterday. Advances will undergo clinical trials, approval of ethics committees and evaluation by experts before introduction.

The controls are to be introduced because of concern about the increased use of keyhole surgery over the past eight years. Formal training was brought in only last year. As the Independent reported yesterday, several medical negligence claims have been brought after patients failed to recover from such surgery.