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Vaginal mesh and Gardasil: Approval for general indemnity cover and product liability cover

A proposal brought forward by Stephen Donnelly was approved by Cabinet today.

File image of a piece of mesh.
File image of a piece of mesh.
Image: Michelle Hennessy/The Journal

THE CABINET HAS approved general indemnity cover and product liability cover for claims relating to transvaginal mesh products and the Gardasil HPV vaccine. 

The Health Minister Stephen Donnelly brought forward a proposal to Cabinet today for the provision of this cover for claims relating to the mesh products or Gardasil. 

Gardasil is a type of vaccine used to protect against HPV. Vaginal mesh devices have been used in operations to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse; two conditions that can impact women after natural childbirth or in their later years.

Including the bodies in the State’s general indemnity scheme for these claims will eliminate the requirement for them to carry private insurance.

The State Claims Agency was consulted and indicated that it supports the inclusion of both bodies under the scheme.  

The clinical indemnity scheme indemnifies hospitals but is confined to clinical acts and/or omissions and doesn’t cover product libality matters.

Current legal cases around transvaginal mesh products involve allegations in relation to the product itself and allegations of clinical negligence.

It has now been proposed to delegate the product liability claims for mesh products to the State Claims Agency to ensure hospitals aren’t exposed to uninsured libaility. 

The use of transvaginal mesh products in Ireland was paused in 2018. 

Thousands of women across the world have suffered complications after having a vaginal mesh device implanted. 

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These complications include chronic pain and recurrent urinary tract infections and have been life-changing in many cases.

An earlier version of this article misstated the bodies that this general indemnity cover and product liability cover would apply to, due to a mistake by the Department of Health. 

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