Harmed by Surgical Mesh?
Listening to the impact and understanding the Ministry of Health’s responsibilities to inform action
This is an opportunity for New Zealand men and women who have been injured and harmed after undergoing a surgical mesh procedure to share their experiences.
Hearing from mesh injured New Zealanders is important to help the Ministry of Health better understand the true impact and clarify what else needs to be done to support those already affected. This process will also help inform the government and others of what needs to be done to improve patient safety in the future.
The Ministry of Health acknowledges that New Zealanders have experienced harm and injuries following procedures involving surgical mesh. For many individuals and families/whānau, the harm and injuries experienced have led to significant distress and suffering.
Independent analysis of a public survey carried out earlier this year concluded that an opportunity to hear from New Zealanders injured and harmed by a surgical mesh is essential. Listening to the impact of mesh harm is important to understand the impact, clarify responsibilities and inform government action that will improve patient safety in the future.
The Ministry of Health will convene an initial round of sessions to provide this opportunity.
They are spread across the four main centres – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin – and across a range of times and days. There will also be the opportunity to attend an online session for those who cannot attend in person. More sessions will be added depending upon demand.
We encourage anyone affected by surgical mesh (either directly or as a family member/whānau or friend) to register to participate and share their experience.
Step 1. Listening and Understanding
We will be providing multiple ways to share your story. More information about how to make a video, audio or written submission will be available on this website from July 23rd.
If you choose to share your story in person, you can register for a Listening Circle. We will be using a restorative circle process. A restorative process is concerned with achieving concrete changes that promote repair and reconciliation, and is guided by principles and values rather than by prescriptions and rules.
The aims of these restorative circle processes are to create a structured environment where a) everyone has an equal opportunity to share how they have been impacted by surgical mesh, b) a chance to understand the needs of people who have been harmed and c) learn what needs to happen to restore well-being and prevent future harm from occurring.
Step 2. Planning and Acting
Restorative processes typically involve bringing people together who have been harmed with the people who have a responsibility to put things right. The Ministry of Health has committed to holding a separate, subsequent circle with the organisations already identified as responsible for responding to mesh harm and injury. These include the medical colleges, ACC, HDC, the Medical Council, Medsafe and the Ministry of Health. Through facilitated discussion, all these responsible parties will listen to the impact of mesh harm in order to understand the impact, clarify responsibilities and inform government action.
The Ministry of Health has commissioned an independent researcher from Victoria University of Wellington to provide a report describing the impact of mesh harm, the needs of those affected by mesh harm and the responsibilities and actions identified. The process will also be independently evaluated by VUW as a research project with ethical approval. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess if a restorative process met the intended aims of the project: listening to the impact of mesh harm and understanding the needs of those affected by mesh in order to inform action.
Learn More about the Listening Circles
Click below to learn more about the Listening Circles.