17 Nov 2019

Surgical mesh sufferers' campaign group demands action

4:49 pm on 17 November 2019

A campaign group for people who have suffered complications from surgical mesh says they want immediate action, now that victims have had their say.


Surgery Photo: 123RF

The Ministry of Health has heard from about 600 victims at forums around the country.

More than 1000 people who have had surgical mesh implants have reported complications, ranging from mild to debilitating.

The ministry has been holding forums to hear from some of the victims, run by The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice, at Victoria University.

Mesh Down Under co-leader Charlotte Korte said it was time for action.

"Many people do want compensation so that they can get the help that they need - a lot of people that don't have ACC acceptance can't actually get the surgery that they need to get the help - it's just not good enough," she said.

The ministry's chief medical officer Andrew Simpson said it was too early to address compensation.

He acknowledged mistakes occur - by accident - and said they were now figuring out how to minimise the risk of harm.

"Things don't always go well - even when you're going in with best intent - so how do we ensure that people have the right information to make the best choices for themselves? How do we ensure that we have the right skills in the right place to minimise the risk of harm happening?" he said.

Dr Simpson said there would be a final report by the end of the year and any changes would be implemented next year.

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