Advocating for ostomates in Romania

OrtoProfil has been supplying ostomy care products in Romania since 1996 and have worked with Welland Medical since 2003. Besides supplying products to ostomates across Romania, the company advocates for ostomates to receive more support and better care, as well as for improvements to the Romanian health insurance system.

We spoke to Dr Atilla Pálosi who is responsible for OrtoProfil’s nationwide sales, about how the company’s been getting on this year and what they are doing to support ostomates in the country.

“We have more than 8,000 patients who are using Welland products in Romania, and during this pandemic period we have reached out to them all regularly.

“My nine years’ experience in this sector have taught me that empathy and psychological support are just as important to ostomates as access to quality stoma care products. That’s why this is something we pay a great deal of attention to as the OrtoProfil team.

“Via our branches in every one of the 41 counties in Romania, and with the help of more than 200 colleagues we guarantee direct monthly contact with every person using our ostomy products. During the last 6 months, we have consulted them on the phone, personally or at our 44 branch offices, as needed, at least once a month.

“We also support our customers in other ways. Ostomy care essentials, such as creams and pastes, are not on the health insurance reimbursement product list in Romania. We all know how important they are in the optimal management of the stoma and peristomal skin, and we recommend them and provide our ostomates with regular free products.”

Research to identify stoma care needs in Romania

“In the next couple of months, we are going to publicise the results of more than 2,800 questionnaires completed by ostomates earlier in the year and submit them to a number of relevant Romanian institutions. This questionnaire has identified some serious issues that need to be addressed, including:

• The absence of cancer screening (cancer being the main reason for stoma formation in 82% of respondents),

• The lack of health education in Romania which has resulted in high numbers of emergency stoma surgeries (57% of respondents) and

• The lack of counselling before stoma surgery (42% received no counselling).

“By conducting this research, we hope to improve the Romanian health insurance system, training for medical personnel, and the quality of life for ostomates. We will also be comparing the responses to the questionnaire obtained by our colleagues in Italy and the United Kingdom.

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