Health secretary announces request for suspension of mesh implant surgery

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Health Secretary Alex Neil has called for the suspension of mesh implant surgery in Scotland pending the results of an inquiry on 17 June 2014.

Mr Neil was giving evidence on the petition "Hear Our Voice" from Scottish Mesh Survivors campaigners Elaine Holmes and Olive Mcllroy, who gave moving evidence to the Public Petitions Committee two weeks ago.

The health secretary also announced an independent review of the medical devices.

About 1,500 women in Scotland receive Transvaginal Mesh Implants every year, usually to treat a prolapsed bladder and relieve incontinence.

However, some have been left in constant pain after the implants hardened, and have been told they can never have sex again.

Mr Neil, referring to the campaigners in the gallery, said: "No women should have to go through the hell these women have been through."

Labour health spokesman Neil Findlay welcomed the announcement praising "the magnificent campaigning group" behind the cabinet secretary.

Mr Findlay asked why the health secretary had delayed for a year which had "put 1,850 more women at risk" of being injured.

The health secretary said the underreporting of complications had tipped the balance in favour of the benefits of the procedure, but that now it with the scale of complications, suspension of the procedure was "the right thing to do" until the evidence of the independent review was reviewed.

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