The Australian Council of Stoma Associations Inc. (ACSA) is the National Body representing 21 ostomy associations and, through the membership of these associations, approximately 46,000 persons living with an ostomy throughout Australia.
Our member associations provide personal support, care, information, encouragement and assistance to persons who, as a result of radical surgery as a result of disease, injury, birth defect or other causes, have an opening in the abdomen (called a“stoma”) for the evacuation of products from the bowel or bladder.
People who have a stoma no longer have normal bowel or bladder function and must wear a disposable bag, or appliance, attached to their abdomen for the collection of bodily waste. These appliances are called stoma appliances or ostomy bags. They are more popularly known as “colostomy bags” (although there are other types of bags).
A stoma is also referred to as an “ostomy” because the surgical procedure by which a stoma is formed is called ostomy surgery. Types of ostomy surgery include colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy (also known as ileal conduit).
ACSA acts as the voice for stoma associations and ostomates when liaising with government departments, ostomy product suppliers, and associated and related groups. It also provides an advocacy and information service to its 21 affiliated associations and their members.
One of ACSA’s main activities is to oversee the distribution of products funded by the Commonwealth Stoma Appliance Scheme to people living with an ostomy by its member stoma associations. Under this Scheme ostomy appliances and associated products are supplied to approximately 46,000 members usually on a monthly basis. Annually this involves over 400,000 individual orders which are assembled from more than 3,700 product lines. The value of ostomy appliances supplied nationally is over $90 million per year.
Other activities of ACSA include the publication of a journal, ‘Ostomy Australia’ which provides up-to-date information on developments in ostomy products and on activities within the ostomy movement, and international liaison through membership of the International Ostomy Association.
ACSA is committed to ensuring the continuation of the Australian Stoma Appliance Scheme and to assisting with the improvement of the quality of life of Australian ostomates