The Ministry of Health is preparing for changes in the financing of medical devices. The worst news stoma patients have heard. – Unthinkable! Planned payment amounts will significantly limit access to free devices. It’s as if a person who doesn’t have a stoma can only use the toilet once every two days, says Dorota Minta, president of the StomaLife Foundation, which helps greats and fights their social exclusion.
1. Medical Device Financing – What Will Change?
The Minister of Health’s draft decree relates to changes in the financing of medical devices upon request.
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This includes wheelchairs, diaper pants, hearing aids, eye products for people with severe visual impairment (glasses and corrective lenses), and equipment for people with lymphedema and diabetics. The amendments to the regulations were to be in response to the needs of patients who would have had greater access to medical devices. In most cases, the Ministry of Health plans to increase the limits and introduce favorable changes.
We’ve heard for years that the devices provided by the National Health Trust are of poor quality. So, in the case of hearing aids, funding has been increased by 50%. (for children from two thousand to three thousand, for adults from one thousand to one and a half thousand zlotys).
In contrast, for example, diabetics can count on extended reimbursement of infusion sets for their personal insulin pump (type 3 diabetes) and insulin reservoirs, as well as reimbursement of non-draining pump sets. The compensation of the flash glucose monitoring system by three groups of patients: pregnant and postpartum women, the blind who are being treated with insulin, and people over 18 years of age who require intensive insulin therapy (although the conditions here include periodic glycemic control). or wear a sensor at least 75% of the time).
2. Ministry of Health plans target ostomy patients
However, not everyone will benefit from the new rules. Patients living with a stoma are most affected. They are angry with the plans of the Ministry of Health, which will lead to a significant deterioration of their condition.
Currently, approximately 64 thousand people live in Poland. Dentistry, about 13,000 are performed each year. Post stoma treatments.
– Unthinkable! Funding limits for ostomy devices have not changed in nearly 20 years. Now, with inflation soaring, the Ministry of Health wants to reduce it. However, this is not the only problem. Funding rules changes are also planned – confirms this in an interview with WP abcZdrowie Dorota Minta, President of the StomaLife Foundation, which helps the greats and fights their social exclusion.
– To date, the regulation has established a specific amount of funding granted, according to which the patient selects his own equipment according to his individual needs. Meanwhile, the ministry’s project now assumes co-financing by the loophole – in the amount of 10 percent. In the case of equipment and 20 per cent. With care products – explains the head of StomaLife and adds that it will be especially painful for people on low incomes, because prices on the market are much higher than those adopted by the Ministry of Health.
– The additional cost of the room will be up to PLN 750 per month. This amount does not include additional care products necessary for proper care of the stoma, which are not compensated for in the project. And the patient uses the ostomy machine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and it cannot be replaced – Minta confirms.
3. Live normally
Most ostomy patients, even if they are economically active, earn less than the national average. Some of them are unemployed as a result of social exclusion linked to the disease. Others are retired or on a pension – indicates Dorota Minta.
Contrary to popular belief, people with stoma are not only elderly people. This applies to people in the prime of life, who are professionally and socially active. This group includes, among others, women after endometriosis surgeries, complications related to childbirth, patients after traffic accidents or patients with cancer. These people want to live a normal life, because the stoma does not make it impossible. They can work and be physically active – he explains.
highlights that The drastic restrictions on access to free equipment will cause them to abandon it.
– And it seems that we live in a time when the use of the toilet and hygiene activities are not a luxury, but a basic standard – confirms the President of the Stomalife Foundation.
4. “Going to the toilet once every two days”
Dorota Minta notes that the planned reimbursement amounts do not allow free receipt of a sufficient number of equipment.
– On average, a patient can receive less than one sachet per day. It’s as if someone without a stoma goes to the toilet once every two days, Minta points out.
Limited availability of equipment will have dire consequences.
– Remember that Incorrectly selected equipment or insufficient quantity leads to serious complications such as necrosis, fistula, peristaltic hernia, painful burns and wounds. In extreme cases, complications require outpatient or even inpatient treatment, which means additional costs to the state budget – notes the head of the StomaLife Foundation.
– After the environmental interventions in the Ministry of Health, as well as with the President of the Republic of Poland and the deputies, the consultations on the project were extended, and we were invited to a meeting at the Ministry of Health next Friday. We believe that these changes will not take effect – adds Minta.
On Tuesday, we asked the Health Ministry about the reasons for the planned changes and the opportunity to change items in the draft regulation. We are waiting for the answer.
Katarzyna Bruce, journalist at Wirtualna Polska
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