30 Mar 2012

Medical recalls to get more publicity

7:47 pm on 30 March 2012

The Government has asked health officials to do more to ensure people are told when faulty medical devices are recalled.

However, it is ruling out an inquiry into details surrounding a faulty metal-on-metal hip implant.

Some 507 New Zealanders received the implant, which was recalled internationally in 2010 after toxic levels of metals entered some users' systems.

It was up to the manufacturer to contact users through their surgeons, but Health Minister Tony Ryall says some people were not told.

Mr Ryall says it seemed reasonable for the manufacturer and medical specialists to contact a group of that size.

However, it proved difficult, so he has asked the Medsafe safety regulation group in the Health Ministry to do more to help in future.

He says Medsafe will ensure there is sufficient coverage of recalls in the media and recalls will be advertised on its website.

One patient, James Elliott, says what was done was not enough, and it is disappointing Parliament's health select committee is refusing to hold an inquiry.