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Pelvic mesh injury

We’re supporting those who experience female pelvic mesh injuries caused by treatment or failure to provide the right treatment.

On this page

    Helping with your pelvic mesh injury

    Surgical mesh has been widely used in procedures to manage conditions such as a pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Some people have reported complications following pelvic procedures using surgical mesh. These complications may cause issues such as chronic pain, bladder infections and pain during sex.

    If you believe your mesh complications may be covered by us as a treatment injury visit your GP or specialist to lodge a claim.

    Once you have a claim lodged we can investigate it. To help inform our cover decision, we’ll get information from:

    • health providers who have treated you
    • the New Zealand Female Pelvic Mesh Service.

    If cover is approved you will be appointed a recovery team member to help coordinate supports related to your injury. This can include costs associated with:  

    • diagnostics, investigations and assessments
    • treatments and rehabilitation recommended by your specialist or the New Zealand Female Pelvic Mesh Service
    • weekly compensation
    • transport and accommodation
    • home and community support
    • aids and equipment
    • Rongōa Māori services.

    We can also fund Te Whatu Ora to deliver New Zealand Female Pelvic Mesh Service assessments to inform your treatment plan.

    If cover is declined you may be eligible for support, care and treatment with the Female Pelvic Mesh Service. This service has a wide range of health providers, including health navigators and social workers. They will assess your need for social support and community help. They'll keep supporting you through your journey and any recommended treatments.

    The Female Pelvic Mesh Service

    Te Whatu Ora has established this new national service to support women with pelvic surgical mesh injuries.

    Learn more about the service and what to expect

    Have your surgical mesh claim reassessed

    If you've had a claim for a surgical mesh injury declined before 28 October 2020, you can have it reassessed under the current criteria. Reassessments are based on the latest evidence and understanding of mesh injuries.

    We have a dedicated cover assessment team to guide you through the process. We want reassessment to be as easy as possible.

    If you think you have a surgical mesh injury and haven't made a claim yet, talk to your GP or specialist. They are able to request a reassessment for you, or you can contact us directly. 

    To request a reassessment or find out more:

    Phone 0800 735 566
    Email surgical-mesh@acc.co.nz

    How the process works

    When you contact our team, we'll take your details and arrange a time to call or email you back. We'll look at your claim-related information and let you know what the next steps are.

    One of our specialist cover assessors will support you through this process.

    We may need more medical information and may require further medical assessment. If an assessment is needed, we will:

    • talk this through with you
    • help arrange the assessment
    • cover the costs of the assessment
    • support you through the process.

    You'll need to give us your consent to start the reassessment. 

    Why we are reassessing declined claims

    In 2019 we were part of the surgical mesh restorative justice process commissioned by the Ministry of Health and run by Victoria University of Wellington. More than 600 people shared their experiences of harm caused by surgical mesh.

    We recognised the impact of the harm on people with surgical mesh injuries and saw the need for us to improve our systems and processes.

    Looking back at a sample of declined claims, we worked with medical experts to consider the latest medical evidence and understanding of surgical mesh injuries. We found that some claims could potentially get a different decision today. Some claims might also benefit from more clinical investigation.

    We'll reassess any declined surgical mesh claim regardless of the type of surgical mesh you have implanted. This applies to cover decisions made before 28 October 2020. The decision may not change after reassessment.

    If you are unhappy with your cover decision

    If you’re unhappy with a decision we’ve made, the first step is to contact the ACC person you’ve been dealing with. Find their contact details in your decision letter. They'll explain in more detail why we've made this decision and can come back to you with answers. 

    You have a right to review if we’ve made a decision on your claim or levy invoice that you disagree with. If an independent review is lodged it means we'll take another look at a decision we made. 

    Learn how to request an independent review

    Contact us

    To find out more:

    Phone 0800 735 566
    Email surgical-mesh@acc.co.nz

    Last published: 13 July 2023