With the conclusion of the Senate Inquiry into transvaginal mesh and the subsequent response by the Federal Government, many people assume that the tragedy of the mesh crisis has been addressed and future injury averted.

Unfortunately, whatever lessons have been learned, many thousand mesh injured women are still enduring daily pain as a consequence of their implants. Some women have been suffering for more than a decade. Many women have told their practitioners that they’ve had an adverse outcome, but doctors and surgeons have not believed them.

The financial, physical and mental health impacts of failed mesh implants cannot be underestimated.

Despite all the evidence of harm, pelvic mesh implants continue to be performed, and there is a now an emerging parallel crisis involving men and women who have received mesh implants as treatment for hernia.

The National Mesh Implant Forum is our opportunity to create real change and improve people’s lives. The forum is being run by the Health Issues Centre, a not-for-profit organisation advocating to ensure the health system serves the best interests of consumers.

Most of the people attending the forum are pelvic and hernia mesh-injured consumers and carers. They will have the chance to meet face-to-face with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), health authorities from each state, regulators and agencies including the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Senior politicians will be in attendance including Senator Rachel Siewert, Chair of the Senate Inquiry into transvaginal mesh implants.

Many consumers will have the chance to share their experience of how the procedure has affected their lives. Regulators will hear firsthand just how little has changed for those with injury.
The forum will examine post-operation pain management, mental health support and financial impact.

With the right people in the room, this forum is a unique, national opportunity to affect change, on the day, by exchanging practice information between states and advocating for dedicated services and increased financial resources.

Individual health departments are currently implementing pain management treatment pathways for mesh-affected consumers, however the quality of this response varies widely state by state. Many states are yet to consider financial remediation and mental health support, focusing only on pain management.

Mesh-injured consumers and carers will work alongside health officials at the forum, to compare state responses and service quality and co-design solutions.

At the end of the day, we will have co-designed a national best practice model for post-operation treatment that addresses the financial, physical and mental health impacts of failed implants.

This will be a huge step forward to ensuring pelvic and hernia mesh injured women and men can access the right support and treatment and finally get the help they need.

The forum is jointly convened by Health Consumers NSW, Health Consumers Queensland, Health Consumers’ Council(WA), Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia, Health Care Consumers (ACT), Health Consumers Tasmania.