The Stoma Appliance Scheme (SAS), established in 1975 and subsidised by the Australian Government, provides support to people with a stoma by improving access to the most suitable and clinically appropriate stoma related products.
Products supplied under the Scheme assist people affected with stomas to better manage their condition, and allow greater participation in the society and workforce. These products are provided free of charge through 22 regional stoma associations across Australia. During 2012-13, approximately 41,000 people with stomas accessed SAS through approved volunteer stoma associations. The stoma associations purchase stoma related products from suppliers and distribute to their members as required.
The choice of products which a person uses is guided by a Stomal Therapy Nurse (STN) who is specifically trained to advise on the use of stomal products following colostomy or ileostomy surgery. The STN will select and discuss products they feel are appropriate for the person with a stoma taking into consideration their lifestyle requirements.
To receive subsidised stoma products, a person must:
- Have a temporary or permanent body opening (whether natural or surgically created), which facilitates the removal of urine and products of the gastrointestinal tract where the person does not have normal gastrointestinal tract or bladder functions;
- Lodge a completed Stoma Appliance Scheme Application to the Department of Human Services through their nominated stoma association; and
- Hold a SAS entitlement card issued by the Department of Human Services.
The SAS Schedule lists products that have been approved by the Department of Health to be issued to eligible people. The Schedule determines the maximum quantity a person can receive each month, the price of the product and whether there are any restrictions. If a person requires a product not listed on the Schedule, the person will need to pay the full price.
There are provisions under the Scheme to receive additional supplies where the monthly allocation does not meet ongoing needs. A person requiring additional supplies is required to lodge a completed Application for Additional Stoma Supplies to the Department of Human Services through his/her nominated stoma association.
People temporarily travelling overseas are entitled to up to six months advance supply subject to providing proof of travel and prior arrangement with their stoma associations.
Please note that application or authorisation form must be completed by a Stomal Therapy Nurse (STN) or a Medical Professional.