The Government will consider a registry to record the use of surgical mesh following a petition from two women who suffered serious complications from mesh implants.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced a range of action after recommendations from Parliament's health committee, which examined the issue.

"I have every sympathy for people who have experienced issues with surgical mesh products. I'd like to thank the petitioners for highlighting their concerns," Coleman said this afternoon.

"The Government accepts the committee's recommendations on surgical mesh. Legislative work is underway on a new comprehensive regime for all therapeutic products, this will include modernising medical device requirements."


Surgical mesh is a net-like product that is used to treat organ prolapse, hernia repairs and urinary incontinence in women.

Close to 300 successful claims have been made to ACC since 2010 because of complications from use of the mesh.

Medsafe's position is that surgical mesh should be used only when other treatments are not available or effective.

Aucklanders Carmel Berry and Charlotte Korte's petition asked for an inquiry into the use of surgical mesh in New Zealand. They were supported by the Women's Health Action Trust.

The committee heard evidence from submitters, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that surgical mesh used according to best practice was likely to lead to a better outcome than any available alternative.

However, the college did say complication rates had to be taken into account.

After hearing evidence from submitters, the health committee in June stopped short of establishing an inquiry but recommended:

• Investigate a centralised surgical mesh registry.
• Review best practice around the use of mesh.
• Encourage identification and monitoring of patients with complications.
• Endorse ongoing education for surgeons.
• Consider expanding Medsafe's role to assess the quality and safety of medical devices.

Coleman said the Ministry of Health would work with DHBs and health providers to ensure best practice is maintained.

"Medsafe will continue to review and assess the international evidence on surgical mesh. The product remains approved for use by regulators worldwide."