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Labour calls for end to medical implants causing severe pain

Neil Findley demands suspension of medical process that is leaving hundreds of women in pain

Shadow Scottish health secretary Neil Findlay demanded the suspension of a medical process yesterday following revelations it was leaving hundreds of women in severe pain.

Transvaginal mesh implants, used to treat prolapse and incontinence, were approved as safe by the Scottish government despite warnings from experts, but Health Secretary Alex Neil has now come under fire as women across Scotland have fallen victim to life-changing complications.

Mr Findlay demanded a public inquiry and said: "The Scottish government does not appear to have a clue what is going on.

"The Health Secretary told us just six women had been reported as suffering adverse effects, therefore mesh was safe to use to treat stress incontinence and pelvic prolapse.

"But figures from individual health boards across Scotland confirm almost 300 victims are showing such severe complications that surgeons are trying to remove the mesh.

"Two health boards are still to release figures so the final toll is likely to be many more."

Government figures showed 2,915 women have received the implants since 2007 but health boards report that at least 8,077 women have had the process.

A Scottish government spokesman denied the number of women affected by mesh implants had been played down.

"It is not possible to compare numbers without examining what questions health boards were asked or which procedures they were reporting on."

But campaigner Elaine Holmes said: "Women are still not being told the truth about a device that can change their lives forever. If people were told the truth, nobody would consent to having these implants."

Mr Findlay accused health secretary Alex Neil of failing to set up a Scottish register and legally compel doctors to report adverse reactions.

"When victims asked him to suspend the use of mesh products, Mr Neil told them he feared legal action by manufacturers.

"Is he really prepared to put the quality of women's lives at risk for the sake of offending manufacturers?"


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