A Stoma is an artificially created opening in the abdominal wall for the evacuation of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract or urine when normal function is no longer possible. People with a stoma usually wear a disposable bag (known as an appliance) over the stoma attached to the abdomen to catch output.
Depending on the reason for the surgery, a stoma may be permanent or it may be only temporary to allow the bowel to heal before the stoma is reversed. Your surgeon should be able to provide you with an expected period for which you will have your stoma.
Whether or not you should tell your friends and family about your stoma surgery is an individual choice. Some people like to keep their condition private whilst others are quite open about it. Either way, it is important to remember that stoma surgery is life saving surgery and is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.
If you have concerns or are experiencing problems with your stoma, contact your Stomal Therapy Nurse or General Practitioner. In case of emergency, please contact the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital.
The Stoma Appliance Scheme is a specialised pharmaceutical benefits programme administered through the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. The scheme provides subsidised ostomy appliances to Australian Medicare card holders who meet the Departments eligibility criteria. See here for more information about the Stoma Appliance Scheme.
Persons wishing to access subsidised appliances through the Stoma Appliance Scheme must be a member of one of the 20 National Associations located throughout Australia and pay a compulsory annual Stoma Appliance Scheme Access (SAS) Fee.
The Stoma Appliance Scheme provides assistance to Medicare eligible Australians who have a temporary or permanent artificial body opening (whether surgically created or otherwise) for the evacuation of faeces or urine where normal function is no longer possible.
Subsidised ostomy supplies are available through the Stoma Appliance Scheme from Queensland Stoma Association or one of the other 20 Stoma Associations located around Australia. Members of the scheme pay a compulsory Access Fee to their association of choice to access the scheme. Please see our ordering page for more information about joining and ordering arrangements. Please see here for the location of other Associations .
The Stoma Appliance Scheme schedule lists products which have been approved by the Department of Health to be issued to eligible members. The schedule determines the maximum quantity that can be issued to an eligible member each month, the price of the product, and if there are any product restrictions.
If you require a product that is not listed on the schedule, you will need to pay the full price for it. It will not be subsidised by the government.
When placing an order for SAS subsidised products, it is important to remember though that each monthly or annual allowance is by product type or purpose, not by individual product code. This is because under Scheme rules, where more than one product with the same purpose (eg: adhesive remover product, barrier product, pouching product etc) is requested within the same entitlement period, the allocation of all products with that purpose must be prorated across the total product purpose allowance.
As a rule of thumb, the following standard allowances apply to Stoma Appliance Scheme listed product types:
- 1 piece closed flat pouches – 90 per month
- 1 piece closed convexity pouches – 60 per month
- 1 piece flat drainable pouches – 30 per month
- 1 piece convexity drainable pouches – 30 per month
- 1 piece flat urostomy pouches – 40 or 60 per month, depending on product
- 1 piece convexity urostomy pouches – 30 per month
- Flat Baseplates, mechanical coupling, standard wear – 30 per month
- Flat Baseplates, mechanical coupling, mouldable- 20 per month
- Flat baseplates, mechanical coupling, extended wear – 20 per month
- Flat Baseplates, adhesive coupling, standard wear – 30 per month
- Flat Baseplates, adhesive coupling, extended wear – 20 per month
- Flat Baseplates, adhesive coupling, mouldable – 20 per month
- Convexity Baseplates, mechanical coupling, standard wear – 20 per month
- Convexity Baseplate, mechanical coupling, mouldable – 20 per month
- Convexity Baseplate, adhesive coupling, standard wear – 20 per month
- 2 piece closed pouch, mechanical coupling – 90 per month
- 2 piece closed pouch, adhesive coupling – 90 per month
- 2 piece drainable pouch, mechanical coupling – 60 per month
- 2 piece drainable pouch, adhesive coupling – 30 per month
- 2 piece urostomy pouch, mechanical coupling – 60 per month
- Stoma Caps -60 per month
- Conseal Plugs – 30 per month
- Ace Stoppers (restricted item, R1 authorisation required*) – 1 per month
- Ace Stopper Dressings (restricted item, R1 authorisation required*) – 30 per month
- Caescostomy washout kit (restricted item, R1 authorisation required*) – 2 per month
Stoma Irrigation Equipment
- Irrigation Set (restricted item, R1 authorisation required*) – 1 per calendar year
- Irrigation sleeves – 50 per month
- Irrigation pressure plate – 5 per calendar year
- Colotip – 2 per calendar year
- Irrigation cone – 1 or 2 per calendar year, depending on product
- Irrigation Water Bag – 2 per calendar year
- Intermittent self-cath catheter (restricted item – R1 authorisation required*) – 30 per month
- Tiemann Catheter (restricted item, R1 authorisation required*) – 90 or 120 per month, depending on product code
- Intermittent catheter – 120 per month
Other alternative systems
- Dilastom (restricted item, R4 authorisation required*) – 1 per calendar year
Adhesive Remover Products
- Adhesive Remover Wipes – 60 per month or 700 per year, depending on product
- Adhesive Remover Spray – 2 cans per month
- Protective Barrier Wipes – 60 per month or 700 per calendar year, depending on product
- Protective Barrier Spray, 50 ml- 6 per calendar year (issued as 1 per two months)
- Protective Barrier Spray, 28 ml – 1 per month
- Cleanser Wipes, standard – 100 per month
- Cleanser Wipes, travel (Restricted item, R2 restriction applies*) – 50 or 105 per month, depending on product
- Cleanser Lotion – 1 bottle per month
Hernia Support Garments
- Hernia Support Belts (Restricted item, R2 restriction applies*) – 3 per calendar year
- Hernia Support Briefs (Restricted item, R2 restriction applies*) – 3 or 6 per calendar year, depending on product
- Hernia Support Boxers (Restricted item, R2 restriction applies*) – 6 per calendar year, depending on product
- Stoma Paste – 2 or 3 per month, depending on product
- Strip paste – 30 per month
- Stoma Seals – 30 per month
- Stoma Collars – 30 per month
- Lubricating Deodorant – 1 bottle per month
- Lubricating Sachets (Restricted item, R2 restriction applies*) – 100 per calendar year
- Protective Skin Barrier Sheets – 30 per month
- Barrier Extenders/Elastic Tape – 60 per month
- Small adjustable belts to hold pouch – 4 per calendar year
- Conditioning Skin Lotion – 2 bottles per month
- Barrier Cream – 1 per month
- Protective Ointment – 2 per month
- Pouch Deodorant drops – 1 or 2 bottles per month, depending on product
- Night Drainage Bags – 5 single bags per month
- Stoma powder – 2 per month
- Windless Pills/Drops – 1 bottle per month
- Filters – 50 per month
- Cathstraps – 2 per month
- Absorbent gelling sachets (Restricted product, R1 restriction applies*) – 60 per month or 700 per calendar year, depending on product
- 1 piece extra small drainable pouch – 60 per month
- 1 piece urostomy pouch – 60 per month
- 2 piece flat baseplate – 30 per month
- 2 piece drainable pouch – 60 per month
Wound and High Output Pouches
- 1 piece wound pouches – 10 per month
- 1 piece flat high output pouches – 20 per month
- 1 piece convexity high output pouches – 20 per month
- High output collection bags – 20 per month
- 2 piece high output pouches – 20 per month
Registrants of the Stoma Appliance Scheme pay a compulsory Stoma Appliance Scheme (SAS) Access Fee to their association of choice to access a generous quantity of ostomy appliances through the Stoma Appliance Scheme. The access fee is set by each stoma association and is payable to the stoma association where the member (usually) obtains their stoma-related products. The fee shall be payable once per financial year.
The fee is compulsory but stoma associations shall make provision for the fee to be paid by instalment in the case of financial hardship. The fee can also be pro-rated where a member joins the association part way through a year.
Other costs may include postage, packaging and handling if you are unable to collect your order from QSA and require us to arrange for your order to be posted and any ancillary items not covered by the Stoma Appliance Scheme.
There are provisions under the Stoma Appliance Scheme to receive additional stoma appliances for up to 6 months when the standard monthly allocation does not meet your needs.
For more information, contact your association.
- Empty the appliance if possible into the toilet
- Place the appliance and any other items used such as wipes in a plastic bag and secure the end
- Wrap in newspaper and place in the bin with other rubbish
PLEASE NOTE: Appliances and wipes should never to be flushed down the toilet!
Most persons with a stoma can swim without fear of appliance leakage. Some ostomy suppliers offer a bag intended to be used during activities such as swimming but all appliances can be worn in water. Those people using an appliance with a filter may like to cover the filter with a stick on cover. Some of the newer filters are teflon coated which means that a filter cover is no longer necessary.
Having a stoma should not stop you from travelling and many of our members travel internationally on a regular basis. It is a good idea to keep a good supply of appliances in your carry on luggage, just in case your checked luggage is misplaced. Remember to precut any appliances before you go as you wont be able to take scissors onto the plane with you. If travelling internationally, contact the Association to arrange a Travel Certificate which explains your condition in several languages to assist with any Customs enquiries. For those members travelling for extended periods of time, Australia does have reciprocal health agreements in place with some countries which may cover ostomy supplies. See here for more details about Reciprocal Health Agreements.
Persons travelling through Brisbane airport may like to take advantage of the Brisbane Airport Hidden Disabilities initiative.
If you are travelling within Australia and are a financial member of an association, you may obtain supplies from any association by producing your Stoma Appliance Entitlement Card. You will need to check the ordering requirements of each association to ensure that the correct supplies are available when you need them.
When travelling overseas, you may obtain up to 6 months supplies in advance. Contact your association for more information about obtaining bulk supplies when travelling overseas.