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Surgical Mesh petition to Health Select Committee

Full Inquiry into the Use of Surgical Mesh

Charlotte Korte and Carmel Berry of mesh injury organisation MeshDownUnder are celebrating today after their petition to the New Zealand Government was accepted by the Clark of the House of Representatives and passed to the Health Select Committee.

The full scope of the inquiry will be laid out over the coming weeks once the Select Committee has had the opportunity to review the large amount of background material submitted by the pair.

Last week the Minister for the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) Hon. Judith Collins disclosed that for the three years to 31 March 2013 there were 421 claims lodged with ACC for treatment injuries related to surgical mesh implants.

Yet the ‘consumer watchdog’ for medical device safety in New Zealand - Medsafe -has received just 19 adverse event reports relating to surgical meshes during the same period.

“There is an alarming disconnection between these two figures that needs to be investigated” said Berry earlier today. “If the scale of surgical mesh problems that are now being recognised worldwide is anything to go by – then this data is only the tip of the iceberg for our health agencies”.

“We hope that the Select Committee will put recommendations to the House of Representatives that result in timely actions to address this issue”. Said Berry.

“We are looking to our lawmakers to bring about some specific changes” stated Korte. “We have a good level of support for our petition amongst Members of Parliament and we intend to work collaboratively in a positive way with the Committee to achieve those changes.”

“This is not a thirst for revenge. This is not a blame game.” added Berry “We simply believe that surgical mesh is causing a health issue that can no longer be ignored or ‘monitored’… its time for some action”.


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