5 Jul 2019

Patients harmed by surgical mesh get chance to speak out

6:56 pm on 5 July 2019

People who have suffered after getting surgical mesh implants have a chance to share their experiences at Ministry of Health forums.

healthcare and medical concept , Close-up of surgeons hands holding surgical scissors and passing surgical equipment , motion blur background.

The Ministry of Health is holding restorative justice forums for people harmed by surgical mesh. Photo: 123rf

More than 1000 people have reported problems with surgical mesh to Medsafe, with complications ranging from mild to debilitating.

ACC paid out more than $16.7 million on mesh-related harm claims between July 2005 and June of this year.

The restorative justice forums, run by Victoria University chair in restorative justice Diana Unwin, will be held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin from later this month.

More than 400 people called for the forums.

Ministry of Health chief nursing officer Margareth Broodkoorn said compensation and a formal apology were "on the cards", but she wanted to hear from victims first about what they wanted.

"It's providing the opportunity for those that have been harmed by mesh to come and share what has occurred for them and their experience," she said.

There are 200 spaces across the four forums. Ms Broodkoorn said this would ensure a safe environment to share personal stories.

People can also have their say through written submissions or teleconferencing.

Surgical mesh is used to support organs and other tissues during surgery. It is most commonly used in hernia repair, but has been used in a wide variety of surgeries.

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