Response to NZ Herald article – 26 June 2023


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

26 February 2024

RANZCOG acknowledges the pain and distress suffered by many Aotearoa wāhine who have experienced complications arising from pelvic mesh implants.

The NZ Herald published an article on Monday 26 June titled ‘Surgical mesh: Half of surgeons assessed for using mesh did not meet minimum standards’.

The College’s full statement to the NZ Herald, attributed to to Dr Susan Fleming, Chair of Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku (RANZCOG’s New Zealand Committee), is below.

You can watch RANZCOG’s appearance at the Health Select Committee’s inquiry here:

RANZCOG was represented by:

– Dr Susan Fleming, Chair of Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku

– Dr Sarah Machin, NZ Training and Accreditation Chair

– Dr Tim Dawson, Urogynaecology subspecialist


– The principle focus of the first round of credentialing was on mesh removal.

– Mesh removal credentialing was assessed at different levels of difficulty – partial and complete removal.

– Applicants applied for the level best suited to their experience and skills.

– As well as being assessed for removal of mesh, surgeons were also assessed for mesh insertion.

– All gynaecologist who applied to be credentialed were deemed competent to implant mesh for stress urinary incontinence and to manage the more common complications related to this surgery.

– All surgeons, including gynaecologists, should be credentialed by Te Whatu Ora for the work that they do.

– For transvaginal mesh procedures, if not certified by the new Credentialling framework, surgeons should be certified against the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) framework-

– Read RANZCOG Position Statement on mid-urethral slings –


Statement provided to the NZ Herald on Thursday 22 June

– RANZCOG supports the idea of setting broad credentialing standards at a national level. Ideally, the credentialing approach should be consistent across all areas of clinical and surgical practice.

– Our approach, and ongoing education, was outlined in our submission to the Petition of Sally Walker: Suspend the implantation of mesh sling for stress urinary incontinence. Read it here:

– RANZCOG acknowledges that mesh removal requires special skills and training. We are in support of the newly launched specialist mesh centres ( where there is expertise in how to treat mesh complications and in the most appropriate techniques for mesh removals.

– More broadly, we have worked with the Ministry of Health to stress the need for adequate communication with all stakeholders, and that the framework and its roll out needs to be embedded in a supportive and learning culture.

– As the credentialing framework is rolled out it will be important to monitor the process to ensure the needs of women are being safely met.


For media enquiries

61 3 9417 1699

Advocacy Aotearoa New Zealand


Advocacy 22 April 2024
Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Health Strategy aims to ensure equitable access to women’s healthcare across Australia
The College has launched its Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s…
Aotearoa New Zealand 16 April 2024
No reputable evidence for ‘abortion reversal’ says RANZCOG
Claims that medical abortion can be ‘reversed’ by a dose…
Advocacy 21 March 2024
RANZCOG reaffirms commitment to First Nation peoples following Voice to Parliament Referendum Result
Read the College’s post-referendum statement and learn more about the…
News 18 March 2024
RANZCOG’s OGET pilot delivers training to rural and regional maternity services – College urges government to extend funding
RANZCOG’s OGET pilot delivers training to rural and regional maternity…
Advocacy 14 March 2024
2024 Women’s Health Summit Ignites Call to Action Against Systemic Gender Bias in Healthcare
RANZCOG is honoured to be organising and presenting the Women’s…
Our Members 8 March 2024
#CountHerIn: RANZCOG Ranks in Top 101 Places for Women to Work on International Women’s Day
The College was proud to host a panel discussion exploring…
Advocacy 8 March 2024
RANZCOG to deliver the 2024 Women’s Health Summit
RANZCOG is honoured to be organising and presenting the Women’s…