Kiwi “terrified” of being left in US after surgery without access to health care


Stranded in the United States, in pain and unable to sit for long as she recovers from major surgery, Glenys Mahoney was again turned down for an emergency place in managed isolation.

The Palmerston North woman has three open wounds after surgery to remove large sections of mesh devices implanted 15 years ago. The procedure, performed by a worldwide expert in mesh removal, was not available to her in New Zealand.

Thing understands that she has had two requests for MIQ place refused as part of the emergency allocation process, and that a third is under consideration.

An MIQ “decision maker” was unable to provide a time frame for a decision on his third claim.

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Charlotte Korte, of the Mesh Downunder support group, said the MIQ process was cruel and caused enormous stress for Mahoney.

“She is absolutely beside herself. She’s exhausted – like anyone in her situation, and she’s terrified of being left there.

“She’s too scared to ask for help, if something’s wrong she won’t be able to afford it, so what is she going to do?”

Glenys Mahoney and surgeon Dr. Dionysios Veronikis after his procedure to remove mesh remnants.

PROVIDED

Glenys Mahoney and surgeon Dr. Dionysios Veronikis after his procedure to remove mesh remnants.

Gynecologist and pain medicine physician Dr Karen Joseph and clinical psychologist Dr Jessica Mills wrote in support of Mahoney’s request.

“The story of Glenys is an example of the incredible suffering suffered by people injured by mesh,” they wrote.

“Appropriate post-surgical care is essential to help people recover and reduce the risk of developing post-surgical problems, including persistent pain. “

Left to right: Charlotte Korte, Carmel Berry and Patricia Sullivan are the founders of Mesh Down Under, a support and advocacy group for those injured by surgical mesh.

Provided

Left to right: Charlotte Korte, Carmel Berry and Patricia Sullivan are the founders of Mesh Down Under, a support and advocacy group for those injured by surgical mesh.

Requests for emergency MIQ spaces had to meet a “very high threshold” and the criteria included “a serious risk to health or safety … to the applicant or their dependent, requiring urgent travel to Nova Scotia. Zealand, ”the MIQ website said. .

Mahoney spent three months unsuccessfully trying to get an MIQ voucher for the hours of surgery and available flights.

Mahoney said an MIQ staff member told her she would meet the criteria and would have to book her flights and surgery and then apply afterwards.

Mahoney spent four years saving the $ 70,000 needed for surgery and travel. She has no more money to spend on health care in the United States.

Complications from the surgical mesh can lead to debilitating pain and suffering.

Jo Spod / Supplied

Complications from the surgical mesh can lead to debilitating pain and suffering.

Mahoney traveled to St Louis for the operation on July 2.

She requested an emergency MIQ spot on July 1, as requests must be made within 14 days of the departure date.

Mahoney learned his request was denied within 12 hours of his flight from St Louis on Wednesday.

The former radiologist was left with debilitating pain caused by complications from the surgical mesh after treatment for pelvic organ prolapse 15 years ago.

She had 12 operations to correct the surgery and remove the mesh, but they were largely unsuccessful.

His specialist supported his decision to seek help from Dr Dionysios Veronikis, a world-renowned mesh removal specialist in St Louis.

MIQ Joint Director Megan Main said 350 places were available per fortnight under the emergency allowance program.

During the week ending July 11, 291 requests were received, 53 were approved and 59 were denied.

The remaining 179 requests were in the process of being processed, did not have enough supporting documentation, or were out of time, Main said.

“Evidence is needed to support all claims to ensure a fair and consistent process. “

The “decision maker” was the MIQ team, and the final decision was made by the director general of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment or his delegate (usually Megan Main or Brigadier Rose King, chiefs spouses of MIQ).

The MIQ received 99 complaints about the emergency process in the month leading up to July 14.

A spokeswoman for the Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, said it would not be appropriate for the minister to intervene in Mahoney’s case.

“It is important that the emergency allocation process is transparent and consistent for all New Zealanders.”

Mesh Downunder member Diane Taylor has created a fundraising page to support Mahoney.

“Glenys has become a great friend and a huge source of support and inspiration not only for me but for hundreds of people in New Zealand living with the daily pain of mesh damage,” she said. declared.


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