The Senate Community Affairs References committee has tabled its report on the risks and impacts of transvaginal mesh implants, which have been carried out since the late 1990’s to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women.
“Many women who have had transvaginal mesh implants have had devastating complications resulting in ongoing emotional trauma, embarrassment, shame, depression, debilitating pain, recurring infection and a poor quality of life.
“The inquiry heard from many women who are living with the consequences of having had these implants. It is heartbreaking that for so long the experiences of these women have been ignored. These women have been let down, the system has failed them.
“The committee has made 13 recommendations that aim to address the needs of women living with mesh related complications, and also to improve the regulation process so that this sort of failure of the system doesn’t occur again.
“The committee recommends that transvaginal mesh implantation should only be undertaken with fully informed consent and as a last resort when other treatment options have been properly considered and determined unsuitable.
“We need to review the system for reporting adverse events including mandatory reporting of such events, we also need to see proper information provided to women about the risks of implantable devices, and a more comprehensive post marketing monitoring scheme with a progress report to the Senate by the end of November.
“Further we need a register of all high-risk implantable devises, and also need improved standards of care and better credentialing so that women get the best possible treatment.
“I urge the Government to take up these recommendations as a matter of urgency, women have suffered for too long.
“I thank the women who gave evidence to the inquiry. The committee has tried its upmost to highlight the pain and suffering experienced and to offer a way forward, I urge the Government to act on the recommendations”.