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Mesh scandal: Campaigners lash out at ministers’ refusal to fund leading surgeon

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

MESH campaigners have condemned ministers’ refusal to fund a leading surgeon to ease victims’ agony in Scotland.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has rejected calls to bring a world-renowned surgeon to Scotland to remove mesh implants – instead referring victims to the same hospitals which carried out many of their original operations.

Campaigners have urged her to reconsider and investigate an offer by mesh removal expert Dr Dionysios Veronikis to come to Scotland to help victims.

But in a letter to MSP Neil Findlay, the Health Secretary insists mesh removal in Scotland is undertaken at two specialised centres in NHS Greater Glasgow and NHS Lothian – the two health boards which continued to carry out mesh ops after then-Health Secretary Alex Neil called for a voluntary suspension in 2014.

Elaine Holmes of Scottish Mesh Survivors said: “Jeanne Freeman’s response is wholly inadequate.

“None of us asked to be crippled with pain or left in wheelchairs. The very least the government can now do is get us the expertise and treatment we need and the surgeons we trust to do it.”

MSP Findlay said: “We should be thanking Dr Veronikis for offering to help in this crisis.”

The Scottish Government said: “The decision to remove mesh is made by the patient in consultation with her clinical specialist who will share all relevant information and provide support.”