I tend to be wary of public persecution of named individuals, even by politicians (or journalists) I respect. The righteous zeal of the animal rights lobby, for instance, often smacks of the hunt in full pursuit of the fox, as we are finding again this week.

But Ann Clwyd's insistence on naming and shaming a doctor, at least twice in the Commons last week, struck me as legitimate, even before we all read the horrors of the soya oil breast implants disaster that has left 5,000 women in Britain (many more across Europe) facing real fear that they have been disfigured or poisoned.

The veteran Labour MP for Cynon Valley's target was a cosmetic surgeon called David Charles Herbert who works in the private sector of that industry. There is no suggestion that he is to blame for the soya prosthetics scandal - that appears to be the fault of the German medical accreditation body.

It gave Tr i lucent implants what amounted to an EU kitemark in 1995 - soya was a 'safer', more natural alternative to silicone.

Mr Herbert's work has, however, generated what Ms Clwyd recently called 'huge numbers of complaints, mainly from women' . There have been TV documentaries and other forms of public attack, including the view of other doctors. Ms Clwyd told MPs that his work is crude, verging on psychopathic.

Shades here perhaps of gynaecologist Rodney Ledward, struck off the register in 1998 and last heard of making£200 a day as a locum pharmacist in Ireland. Mr Herbert does not sue; indeed, Ms Clwyd tells me that he too gave a newspaper interview in boldly self-justifying terms.

After 80 complaints the General Medical Council is finally on his case, but when last week the MP had checks made Mr Herbert was still operating at least twice a week in two hospitals. He should have been suspended, she told the House.

As newspapers printed the heart-breaking stories of women left wondering if they are infertile or will get cancer (the by-product of oil breaking down can be carcinogenic) from their leaky soya implants, the Department of Health and the Medical Devices Agency did their best to explain how they monitor the technology before and after use.

What struck me as missing was how we monitor the people involved in a 100,000-operations-a-year industry - one where the cosmetic side is largely confined to the private sector. I went back to the Commons debate Ms Clwyd staged - not her first - last month, armed with a fat file of cases and the full support of Lib Dem medic Peter Brand and Tory junior health spokesperson Caroline Spelman.

The horror stories included a woman who had undergone liposculpture in a dental chair and the memorable claim that some people setting up in cosmetic surgery are virtually unqualified: 'The equivalent of boarding a jumbo jet and finding the pilot. . .trained only for a crop-spraying plane, ' said Ms Clwyd.

It is an offence only to claim to be a doctor.

What Ms Clwyd hammered home was a glib 'walk in, walk out' culture in the private sector where, crucially, the clinics which take your details and your money disown the doctor who does the botched operation - a self-employed contractor, you understand.

Dr Brand agreed. Consumers - often vulnerable people - deserve better protection, the industry must be better regulated (not least via the GMC's specialist register which voters can inspect at the local library) and would-be patients must be protected from unethical advice or advertisements about operations they should not have.

Have you heard, incidentally, of dead donor tissue being used to make lips bigger?

Well, the government does have an answer. The Care Standards Bill, now before Parliament, will act on the Commons health select committee's repeated recommendations, and regulate the private sector using the National Care Standards Commission. No more buckpassing by dodgy clinics is health minister John Hut ton's message .

As Ms Spelman underlined, the dispute remains over whether the NHS and private sector should both be regulated by the Commission for Health Improvement.

Dobbo was against it, Alan Milburn too, though Ms Clwyd says he is more sympathetic to her campaign.

She also thinks the select committee, dominated by blokes, was soft on cosmetic care.

As for Mr Herbert, he had 28 days to respond to the GMC's invitation to come in for peer review. It expires tomorrow.