Health Minister Robert Mitchell has announced the launch of a new Ostomy Supplies Program to support individuals living with an ostomy.
Individuals living with an ostomy use an external pouch to eliminate waste from their body. Ostomy advocates have said the cost of supplies can range from $200 to $1,000 per month. Under the new Ostomy Supplies Program, all Islanders who require a permanent ostomy will be eligible for financial assistance.
The province says approximately 585 individuals are currently living with ostomies in the province. An ostomy may be necessary due to birth defect, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or severe abdominal or pelvic trauma.
“This new program will have a major impact on the lives of hundreds of Islanders currently living with ostomies,” Mitchell said.
“Living with an ostomy not only impacts your health and every day activities, but also your finances. We are taking action now, to provide financial support to those islanders in need.”
“I am thrilled with this news,” said Christine MacCallum, facilitator for the Charlottetown Ostomy Peer Support Group.
“We went from having no help to a really good and fair start to help Islanders living with an Ostomy.”
The new program will come into effect January 1, 2019. Coverage will be based on income and will range from 90 per cent coverage for individuals earning less than $20,000 per year to 60 per cent coverage for individuals earning more than $100,000 per year.
Through Health PEI, the province will continue to provide education and training in hospital by Enterostomal Therapists, as well as post discharge supports in-home until patients are able to manage independently.
Supplies that will be covered will include skin wagers, ostomy pouches, adhesive removers, skin barrier wipes and ostomy belts.