Women are still fighting for their rights to healthcare and the battle is not over yet
“Many women, I’m sorry to say, were not believed by the health service.”
These words were uttered by Humza Yousaf yesterday morning as a contract for Scottish patients to visit the United States to receive transvaginal mesh removal surgery was signed.
The Scottish Government may be keen to boast about this new development with vaginal mesh removal but countless women have suffered over a decade.
Transvaginal mesh is a medical device that was used regularly in Scotland before 2014 and its use was only stopped in 2018.
Women impacted by mesh surgery have often reported they were told the mesh was a “harmless surgical tape” and were led to believe the pain they endured was imagined.
Mr Yousaf said he is determined to ensure those with mesh complications get the treatment they want and need.
However, is this too little too late for those who have endured pain for so long?
Women have had to fight long and tiring campaigns with the backing of media support from the likes of journalist Marion Scott to be heard.
And even with the news of free of charge specialist treatment in America there are setbacks.
There is no direct flight from Scotland to Missouri with the fastest journey time from Edinburgh clocking in at just under 15 hours at the moment.
Will this feel like yet another long wait for essential healthcare for women – healthcare that is not even being provided in their country?
Removal of mesh under the NHS is not possible. In Scotland, patients are told they can either trim the mesh or cut small sections over a period of time, which means repeating intrusive procedures.
Some women will be incredibly grateful there is an option to end the pain they have suffered for so long.
Many will be wondering why this did not come sooner and what is being done to improve the treatment in Scotland.
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