It has been described as the “greatest health scandal of our times”. Thousands of women were given plastic transvaginal mesh implants designed to treat a number of conditions, which then began to fall apart inside them, leaving many in agony.
Now, after years of campaigning, the Scottish Government has agreed that women who suffered health problems will each receive a £1,000 payment. This follows a formal apology issued by Nicola Sturgeon and also the 2018 decision to stop carrying out any more such operations.
While the money is hardly sufficient recompense for those worst affected – the Government said it was not designed to be “compensation for any perceived wrongdoing by the NHS” – it is a welcome recognition of the suffering caused by something that was supposed to improve people’s health but ended up causing significant, and in some cases, life-altering harm.
There are many lessons to be learned from this appalling situation, but surely one is that we must get better at recognising problems when they occur and taking swift action to address them.
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