People suffering from complications from surgical mesh now have hope as the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has decided to review the mesh surgery claims it declined previously.
It made the announcement following the Ministry of Health’s report last week, which included stories from more than 600 people with severe physical and mental trauma resulting from surgical mesh complications.
Emma Powell, chief customer officer at ACC, said the report was “confronting” and that they’re now working with advocacy group Mesh Down Under to “look back through declined surgical mesh claims.”
“We recognise the severity of the harm it’s caused and we’re taking the issue seriously,” she told Stuff.co.nz. “Claims outcomes may not change, however this aims to ensure past decisions are consistent with the latest understanding of mesh injuries and to look for opportunities to improve the experience of those who come to us for help.”
Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter commented that the report “made for heartbreaking and confronting reading.”
“The report highlights what people want to see happen now. People want better acknowledgement of their injuries, bolstered advocacy and psychosocial support,” she said. “Some of the recommendations in the report are already under way while the Ministry is now looking at ways to implement other changes recommended in the report.”
Mesh Down Under added: “Seeing the same proposals come up yet again, for the specific help that we have been asking for, for many years has confirmed how critical it is for the various agencies to now turn their agreed actions into concrete programmes that deliver urgent and tangible results to the mesh community.”