Government Apologises For 'Agony And Pain' Of Vaginal Mesh Implants
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has issued a national apology to women whose lives have been ruined by pelvic mesh implants.
Hunt acknowledged the pain and suffering of those caught up in the medical scandal.
"On behalf of the Australian government, I say sorry to all of those women with the historic agony and pain that has come from mesh implantation which have led to horrific outcomes," he told the ABC on Wednesday.
"My message to them is your voice has been heard, and not just heard but acted upon."
The federal government will on Wednesday table its response to a Senate inquiry into the issue which heard many horror stories from women who had the devices implanted.
Central to its response will be a pledge to work with the states and territories to set up a voluntary national register of women who have had mesh devices.
"I would like to see it set up by the end of 2019, if not the middle of the year," Hunt said.
Patient groups want to make it compulsory for health practitioners to report side-effects of implantable devices.
Hunt said the government supported such a move, but it was outside federal powers.
"We will encourage the states and territories to adopt mandatory standards," he told the ABC.
The federal government will also establish permanent Medicare payment items for the removal and treatment of pelvic mesh, and ash states and territories to conduct an audit of the devices.
"I would be surprised if any state or territory resisted the steps that we have taken," Hunt said.
"Too many women have suffered too much for too long."