A SENATE inquiry into pelvic mesh devices has pushed back a final report until February after an overwhelming response from women left with permanent and severe injuries.
The report was due on November 30, after four days of evidence in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, and several hundred submissions from women, doctors’ groups and health care advocates.
Evidence included an apology from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and an admission that some women had experienced “terrible outcomes” from mesh surgery. The Newcastle Herald has revealed that many devices were developed and cleared for use in Australia and overseas with little or no evidence of safety and efficacy.
The Herald also revealed the college failed to declare substantial RANZCOG financial links with industry throughout the controversial pelvic mesh period to the Senate inquiry. Australian Medical Association president Dr Michael Gannon confirmed it marketed one mesh device as a “medical breakthrough”, and said it was “not our proudest hour”.
Women sobbed as they told the inquiry of being dismissed by doctors and denied treatment despite debilitating complications after mesh surgery.
“He made me feel as though I was a freak with a vagina obsession,” one women told the inquiry.
Another said: “The medical fraternity in Australia treats patients as a way of making money.”
Senator Derryn Hinch successfully pushed for the inquiry after describing mesh as “one of the greatest medical scandals” in Australia’s history.