Scottish mesh patients can have corrective surgery for free in US

The Scottish Government has awarded contracts to Spire Health Care in Bristol and Mercy Hospital in Missouri.

Scottish mesh patients can have corrective surgery for free in US Ake1150sb via IStock
Surgery: The Scottish Government has awarded contracts to Spire Health Care in Bristol and Mercy Hospital in Missouri.

Scottish mesh patients will now be able to have corrective surgery for free from specialists in England and America.

On Monday, the Scottish Government announced it had awarded contracts to Spire Health Care in Bristol and Mercy Hospital in Missouri.

Dr Dionysios Veronikis, who works at Mercy Hospital, had previously offered to travel to Scotland from the US to perform the complex removal operations, but then withdrew the offer when discussions fell through.

Surgery and travel costs to either clinic will be covered and the contracts are expected to start later this summer.

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The move is to complement the Complex Pelvic Mesh Removal Service already established in NHS Scotland and, alongside the option of referral to NHS England centres, is intended to allow everyone affected to get the treatment and care that they need.

The Scottish Government halted the implantation of transvaginal mesh in 2018 following complaints of women being left with painful and life-changing side effects.

Last month the Scottish Government announced that women who have already paid to have the mesh removed privately would be reimbursed under the new Transvaginal Mesh Removal (Cost Reimbursement) (Scotland) Bill.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: “While mesh removal surgery is available within Scotland on the NHS, these are alternative options for those who feel unable to be treated in Scotland.

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“We recognise the pain and suffering of women who have been impacted by complications as a result of transvaginal mesh implants.

“That is why we are absolutely determined to ensure those with mesh complications get the treatment that they want and need.”