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Shaw considering a surgical mesh suspension in NZ

James Shaw considering a surgical mesh suspension in NZ

Mesh Down Under eagerly awaits a decision by acting associate health minister James Shaw regarding New Zealand’s response to their request to suspend surgical mesh procedures for (SUI) Stress Urinary Incontinence and (POP) Pelvic Organ Prolapse procedures. James Shaw has taken over the surgical mesh portfolio while Julie Anne Genter is on maternity leave. An emergency meeting was called two weeks ago and was attended by members of various surgical colleges, ACC, MOH, Mesh Down Under and the Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Last month the National Health Service accepted a recommendation to suspend all mesh surgical procedures for POP and SUI until a series of mitigating factors had been put in place. This suspension was quickly taken up by Wales, all of Ireland, Guernsey and the Channel Islands. Today a new announcement has been made in Scotland which recommended that the suspension already in place be continued and surgical mesh not be used.

The detailed parliamentary investigation made several recommendations which highlighted the “grave concerns on the use of mesh, including counterfeit mesh, emerging internationally”. The report emphasised that ‘there are non-mesh alternatives which have a number of benefits to the patient but do not have the same potential long-term debilitating, sometimes devastating, effects’.

However in contrast, it seems that New Zealand is once again behind the eight-ball leaving the door open for future patients to be injured. The damage caused by these procedures has been extensive with many patients lives ruined.

The question is “How many more lives will be destroyed before tangible action is taken, and will the government live up to the promises made prior to the election?” Charlotte Korte, Co-leader of Mesh Down Under asked today. “The Hon David Clark stated that “once in power they would bypass campaigning and set about fixing things”- we hope he keeps to his word”.

“Mesh Down Under is extremely disappointed that once again there are delays in putting safety precautions in place which is resulting in further surgical mesh injuries.” Added Korte
“ACC reports a 34% increase in surgical mesh treatment injury claims decided in the year ending June 2018. That brings surgical mesh claims to now well over 1000, at a significant social and financial cost to taxpayers”.

“We believe it is time for the government to step up, ensure that patient wellbeing is the number one priority. The Ministry of Health and the government need to actually show that they will put patient safety and the well-being of the NZ public first.

Mesh Down Under have requested a suspension of surgical mesh procedures until all safeguards and support structures for those already injured are in place and more stringent credentialing of surgeons is established for those qualified to to perform these surgeries.

“It is time to follow the rest of the rest of the world” Korte states “there has been a lot of talking, but it is now time for action”.


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