Labour is calling on the Minister of Health to instigate an independent inquiry into the use of surgical mesh in New Zealand.
“Growing international concern and actions by other health regulators over complications involving this product should have set off alarm bells,” Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“Thousands of women in the US and the UK have taken lawsuits against manufacturers of the mesh after suffering complications as a result of receiving implants.
“While figures show that between 2010 and 2013 more than 400 New Zealand patients lodged ACC claims for mesh-implant related injuries, the exact number of people experiencing adverse reactions is unknown.
“A petition heard by the Health Select Committee today must act as the catalyst for action.
“It is not good enough for sufferers to be fobbed off or pushed between district health boards and ACC.
“I introduced a bill to regulate medical devices in 2007. It has yet to get a second reading. That shows exactly how low on Tony Ryall’s priority list this issue is.
“The two women presenting the case today – Carmel Berry and Charlotte Korte – and the hundreds of other Kiwis who have suffered agonising post-op complications are owed an inquiry.
“Mr Ryall has the perfect opportunity today to put aside his blinkered political stance and take leadership of this issue,” Annette King said.