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Kiwi politicians blind to mesh surgery disasters


Tuesday 1 July 2014

Kiwi politicians blind to mesh surgery disasters

Growing concerns here and overseas about the horrendous consequences suffered by patients whose mesh surgery has gone terribly wrong appear to be lost on most New Zealand politicians, according to the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) health spokesman David Tranter.

“If it wasn't for women's protest groups and the efforts of individual patients to bring DHBs to account over the terrible suffering they have endured it is obvious that the DHBs would sweep these issues under the carpet.

“The extraordinary stalling tactics used by, for example, the Canterbury DHB's corporate solicitors in trying to evade releasing the medical files of West Coast patients shows the extent to which the bureaucrats are in denial of surgery problems. Yet the CDHB's own chief medical officer Nigel Millar is on record saying that the patients "own" their records - so why the reluctance to release them?

In the United States the use of mesh is being described as "high-risk" and there are huge legal consequences pending where operations involving mesh have had disastrous outcomes. Widespread concerns are being expressed in Europe and Britain. In Scotland the health secretary Alex Neil has requested a suspension of the use of mesh implants by the NHS pending safety investigations. And so it goes on.

Co-author of of the petition for a full independent New Zealand inquiry, Carmel Berry, told the DSC that she “wondered how Medsafe could possibly be effectively doing their job of 'monitoring' mesh complications, when there were 421 mesh injury claims made to ACC in the three year period to March 2012, yet only 20 adverse event reports were received by Medsafe in the same period. ACC only report severe and sentinel events to Medsafe. Yet I know of at least one patient has been living with debilitating pain, who is essentially bedridden for the past 7 months since a mesh implant surgery went horribly wrong. Her case has been named by ACC as 'Major' ( not serious) - and therefore not reported to Medsafe. The disparity is very alarming and the issue of under-reporting needs to be addressed urgently".

“The DSC is aware of several West Coast patients who have suffered badly.

“Another alarming consequence of DHB failure to provide effective follow-up is shown by patients who feel compelled - if they can afford it - to go private in order to try to repair the damage done to them in the public system.

“The Democrats for Social Credit Party calls on all concerned people, election candidates included, to treat this as a major election issue” Mr. Tranter said.


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