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Mesh implant patients challenge government over surgery delays

Women requiring the surgical removal of mesh implants have said "very little" has happened since a landmark Scottish government announcement in the summer.

The pledge means patients can now receive free treatment from specialists in America and England. But campaigners said initial assessments in Glasgow were taking up to two years.

The Scottish government said it was working with NHS Specialist Services to improve waiting times.

Implant use was stopped in Scotland after hundreds of women were left with painful, life-changing side effects. In July, the Scottish government announced surgery and travel costs to Spire Health Care in Bristol and the Mercy Hospital in Missouri in the United States would be covered. The cost of each procedure is estimated to be £16,000 to £23,000.

Marian Kenny, who is waiting on surgery to remove a mesh implant. joined the protest outside the New Victoria Hospital and admitted she felt "deflated" by the lack of progress in recent months.

She told BBC Scotland: "For so much of this fight, we have been fighting to get it stopped and this is the only time we have been fighting for ourselves. We don't want to be guinea pigs any more."

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf acknowledged the pain, suffering and distress mesh survivors have been through.

He said he hoped to finalise contracts with the clinics in Bristol and Missouri "as quickly as we possibly can".

Mr Yousaf added: "I would hope to have an update relatively soon.

"I know they have been waiting too long and I promise them I don't want them to be waiting any longer than they have to."

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Source: BBC News, 24 November 2021


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