I propose to take Questions Nos. 99, 131 and 225 together.
In 1992, the General Medical Services (Payments) Board decided to establish a working group to review in depth how the needs of people receiving non drug items, including ostomy products, under the GMS scheme were being met and if these needs could be met more efficiently.
The purpose of the review of ostomy-urinary products on the General Medical Services scheme was to ensure that the needs of users of ostomy-urinary appliances would be met in the most effective manner and that the most modern "user friendly" products should be available on the GMS scheme. To this end, each product currently on the scheme was evaluated by a group which included specific expertise in stoma care, on the basis of quality, suitability, and security.
Following this evaluation, it was decided that a number of out-dated products should be replaced because they had been superseded by the more advanced products referred to above.
Officials of my Department met with the Ileostomy Association on 20 July 1994 and it was explained that although certain products were being removed from the GMS list, this was only being done in order that more modern products could be made available on the GMS scheme. The association contacted my Department the following day to express their satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting.