It has been labelled as one of the biggest medical scandals in Australian history. Now, the government has issued a national apology to the thousands of women whose lives have been ruined by the debilitating effects of vaginal mesh implants.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said he wanted to acknowledge the pain and suffering of those at the centre of the medical scandal, which lawyers say may have affected up to 8000 women.
"On behalf of the Australian Government, I say sorry to all of those women with the historic agony and pain that has come from mesh implantation which have led to horrific outcomes," he said.
"My message to them is your voice has been heard, and not just heard but acted upon."
While more than 700 women in Australia have joined a class action against one manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, Mr Hunt said the Government would work with states and territories on setting up a voluntary national register of women who have had suffered from using mesh devices.
Used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence after childbirth, the medical implants were revealed to have ruined many lives after an Australian inquiry in March.
Negative effects reported after surgery included bleeding, nerve and tissue damage, perforated organs and mesh eroding into the vagina.
The inquiry found that many women had suffered chronic and debilitating pain, leaving a "devastating impact" on their lives, relationships and careers.