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Surgical mesh report ‘heart-breaking reading’ says minister

12 December 2019

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University.

The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh.

“The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says Ms Genter.

“The recent restorative justice process allowed affected people to open up about their experiences and ensure the health sector and the government heard their voices.

“People have talked about losing the life they had enjoyed before surgical mesh harmed them – the loss of a steady job, the ability to exercise, a loving relationship in some cases. Others described the chronic pain they experienced.

“I hear regularly from people injured by mesh and knew the scale of changes needed is not confined to one person, one agency, or one set of decisions.

“The report highlights what people want to see happen now. People want better acknowledgement of their injuries, bolstered advocacy and psychosocial support.

“Some of the recommendations in the report are already underway while the ministry is now looking at ways to implement other changes recommended in the report.

“ACC will be working with patient advocacy group Mesh Down Under on a way to look back through declined surgical mesh claims.

“This government has already restricted surgical mesh for Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Stress Urinary Incontinence, as well as brought in a DHB-led registry which will report back early next year.

“The report highlights the need for credentialing surgeons. In New Zealand, we’re currently assessing surgeons against guidance developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care for stress urinary incontinence. As a result, 26 surgeons across ten DHBs have been assessed as meeting this standard.”

Last updated on the 12th December 2019