Scotland politics

Health minister Shona Robison quizzed over mesh implants report

Woman clutching stomach in pain Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Mesh implants are widely used in the UK, Europe and North America but some patients have suffered painful complications

Health Secretary Shona Robison is set to respond to a new report into the use of controversial mesh implant surgery.

The procedure can be used to treat women suffering from prolapse and bladder problems.

However, an independent review was ordered after women had been left suffering from painful complications.

Both Ms Robison and Dr Lesley Wilkie, chairwoman of the independent review of transvaginal mesh implants, will give evidence to MSPs.

Ms Robison's appearance before the Scottish Parliament's public petitions committee comes after an interim report was published last week calling for better training to ensure medical staff are more aware of the complications women can suffer after mesh implant surgery.

'Serious concerns'

The report expressed "serious concerns that some women who had adverse events found they were not believed", adding this added to their distress and meant they had to wait longer for help.

About 11,000 women in Scotland have had the implant procedure but MSPs have been told that as many as one in five implants can go wrong, with the interim report noting mesh implants "carry a risk of complications which, in some cases, are life-changing and cannot be corrected".

The Scottish government has already suspended the use of mesh implants, with Ms Robison making clear last week that this remained in place.

Elaine Holmes and Olive McIlroy, of Scottish Mesh Survivors, the group which took the issue to Holyrood, want a public inquiry to be held or independent research to be carried out into the safety of mesh devices.

Dr Wilkie said last week the interim report "points the way forward for improving services for women in the treatment of these conditions".

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