WOMEN were in tears on Tuesday night when a Federal Government move in the Senate stopped the tabling of a long-awaited report into pelvic mesh devices.
“Do they know what they’re doing to us? This report has been delayed a number of times. We were told it would be tabled this afternoon and then the government decides to vote on something else and we’re just left,” said mesh-injured woman Gai Thompson, who could not control the tears when told the report would not be tabled.
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“The problem is they don’t care. The politicians don’t care because they really don’t know what it’s like for so many women. I’ve lost my house. My daughters have had to live with me like this for the last 11 years. This report was going to at least confirm that we’ve been taken seriously.”
Mesh inquiry chair Senator Rachel Siewert confirmed at 6.45pm that the report would not be tabled after Finance Minister Mathias Cormann successfully moved to suspend Senate business to allow voting on other matters including the government’s company tax proposals.
Senator Siewert apologised to women across Australia who had been watching the Senate debate to see the report tabled before reading it online.
“I’m really sorry but there was nothing we could do as the government had the numbers,” she said.
Consumer Health Forums of Australia spokesperson Melissa Fox said mesh-injured women and Australia’s state and territory-based health consumer organisations were keenly awaiting the inquiry recommendations.
“Thousands of Australian women who have endured debilitating mesh injuries are wanting assurance that their voices have been heard. We expect the Senate report to validate their experiences, as a first step toward justice and accountability,” Ms Fox said.
“The harm that has been done to women must be acknowledged as a failure of the regulatory, quality and safety mechanisms that exist to safeguard the general public. We hope the report recommends collection of accurate retrospective data so we know just how many women have been harmed.”