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Access to Healthcare

Access to Healthcare projects bring together practitioners, users, NGOs, and other public and private partners to:
  • Train practitioners and raise standards of care
  • Provide users with a voice

  • Advocate for better care and reimbursement with healthcare policy decision makers.

In this section you’ll find a description of the program, as well as an overview of our current projects and information on our approach when selecting and developing a project.

Creating long-term sustainable partnerships Creating long-term sustainable partnerships Access to Healthcare projects are based on local and international partnerships with organizations that have demonstrated experience within the fields of ostomy, continence and wound care. More about sustainable partnerships

Creating long-term sustainable partnerships

The program works in partnership with local stakeholders to improve conditions for those with intimate healthcare needs. This means that project partners can expect to work closely in the field with representatives from a local Coloplast subsidiary in shaping and implementing projects.Project ideas can be initiated by both external partners or by Coloplast, but are typically developed and finalised in cooperation between the two.


In all instances, Access to Healthcare seeks partners who share our goal of building better intimate healthcare for end users in project countries, and who have demonstrated expertise in project and program management.

Who are our partners?

Examples of past and current international partners include the World Council for Enterostomal Nurses (WCET), the  International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS), while examples of local partners extend to organizations like the China Nursing Association and AMCHICHAC (Asociación Méxicana para el Cuidado Integral y Cicatrización de Heridas A.C.).

Helping people with healthcare needs Helping people with healthcare needs The focus of individual Access to Healthcare projects varies, but the projects address similar themes. However, it's important that our projects create value for people with intimate healthcare needs and help them live with dignity. More about the focus of our projects

Improving capacity for better intimate healthcare

Access to Healthcare builds capacity for better intimate healthcare within bowel, urinary or wound diseases through training of healthcare practitioners (nurses, doctors, surgeons or other providers of care).


Promoting awareness and understanding

Helping those with intimate healthcare needs better explain and address the challenges they face in living with chronic bowel, urinary or wound diseases.  The measures might include the formation of end user groups and peer-to-peer programmes that address quality of life issues, taboos or difficulties that individuals face in their daily lives.



We work with healthcare practitioners and health policy makers to improve standards of care and provide more robust treatment and reimbursement environments for those with intimate healthcare needs.


Current and completed projects

Since its foundation in 2007, the program has fostered 22 projects in emerging markets including Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Poland and South Africa. 

Argentina Argentina Enable ostomates to get organized in order to raise standards of care. Projects in Argentina

Projects in Argentina

Current project

2012 - Capacity Building for Argentina’s Ostomy Association and Ostomy Law Development

Goal → Enabling AADO to become a more effective advocate for ostomates in Argentina by strengthening its internal capacity and organization. The goals are to improve the capacity of AADO to represent ostomates, empower AADO in building awareness among relevant government agencies and develop a new ostomy reimbursement law in Argentina.

Partners: Argentina's Ostomy Association (AADO) and OPEN group (Consulting)

Brazil Brazil Building continence care awareness via guidelines to doctors and users. Projects in Brazil

Projects in Brazil

Current project

2014 - Creating an IC Protocol

Goal → Gather Brazil's top urologists to formulate an IC protocol on how to treat Spinal Cord Injured, Spina Bifida and Multiple Sclerosis patients with urinary retention. This document will be presented to the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The document shall draw on the guidelines that Access to Healthcare supported previously.

Partner: The Brazilian Society of Urology (BSU)


Completed projects

2012 - Incontinence Care Awareness and Patient Pathway Project

Goal → Build patient and practitioner awareness of coated intermittent catheters (CIC) and creating a documented ‘gold standard’ patient pathway. The main goal is to raise the standards of care through CIC guidelines in São Paolo and selected municipalities.

Partner: The Brazilian ET Society

Results → Guidelines successfully launched for 500 local nurses at the Stomatherapist Nurse Brazilian Congress.


2012 - CIC Guidelines Project

Goal → Produce updated national guidelines for continence care with a focus on shifting the standard of care in Brazil from indwelling to coated intermittent catheters (CIC).

Partner: Brazilian Society of Urology

Results → Changing the mindset towards coated intermittent catheters through through well-recieved guidelines provided to more than 500 urologists from 26 different municipalities.

China China Continued engagement in China within ostomy, continence and wound care. Projects in China

Projects in China

Current projects

2014 - Wound Care Centres of Excellence

Goal → The primary objectives of the project is to strenghten treatment and healing of complicated wounds in hospitals in China. This will be achieved through the establishment of multiple Centres of Excellence. Initially, the project will support the opening of the first Centre of Excellence in Beijing.

Partner: Peking University First Hospital 


2010 - Chronic Wound Care Training Program

Goal → Large-scale capacity building in diabetic wound treatment. The main goal is to conduct 60 workshops in 15 hospitals across China training 3600 doctors with the long-term objective of reducing foot amputations.

Partner: The Key Research Laboratory of the Wound Repair and Regeneration

Results → Successful completion of over 10 workshops and training of over 1000 healthcare professionals


Completed projects

2012 - Western Provinces and Wound Care Education “Go West” Project

Goal → Training of healthcare professionals in China’s western provinces in cooperation with Chinese Ministry of Health. The main goal is to provide new and improved training to medical professionals specializing in ostomy care and wound care.

Partner: Beijing Health Human Resource Training Center

More information: An article about this project has featured in our company magazine. Read the individual article here or the full company magazine here.


2012 - Shanghai Community Wound Care Project

Goal → To build a community-based wound care model in Shanghai municipality through partnerships and training of healthcare professionals. The project will build this model through the creation of new partnerships among hospitals and community-based clinics, seminars and training events. The ultimate goal is to eudcate 200 doctors and nurses.

Partner: 9th People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai


2011 - Clean Intermittent Catheterization Patient Awareness

Goal → Promoting awareness and building professional capacity for better catheterization with the aim of training 340 doctors and nurses across hospitals and educating 4800 patients.

Partner: Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine


2009 - General Ostomy Care Guidelines

Goal → Create and advocate for clinical guidelines for better national ostomy care. The goals are to have multi-stakeholder development of guidelines, testing in key hospitals across China, and finally advocating for government recognition.

Partner: China Nursing Association

Results → Succesful creation of ostomy care guidelines


2009 - Establishment of 'Sunshine Clubs'

Goal → Awareness building for people with an ostomy with the aim of creating stoma clubs in three major Chinese cities and involve nurses and ostomy patients in hospitals.

Partner: International Ostomy Association

Results → Successful creation of 'Sunshine Clubs' for ostomates across China to connect and spread awareness to policy makers in order to improve ostomy care

India India Extensive training activities within wound and continence care. Projects in India

Projects in India

Completed projects

2010 - India Workshop on Comprehensive Management of SCI

Goal → 3-day training course with the aim to train 150 doctors and nurses in spinal cord injury management as part of the annual ISCoS conference.

Partner: ISCoS (International Spinal Cord Society)

Results → 262 healthcare professionals from 31 countries (165 from India) trained in medical, physical, psychological, social elements of spinal cord injury care. One-day workshop at the annual ISCoS convention.


2009 - India Wound Care Training Workshops

Goal → Large-scale capacity building in the field of diabetic wound care with the goal of training 2880 doctors and nurses across all of India’s regions, offer better treatment and reduce foot amputations.

Partner Diabetic Foot Society of India (DFSI)


Global Global Developing and expanding an online tool for people with spinal cord injury. Projects globally


Current projects

2013 - Expansion of the Spinal Cord Injury Management E-learning Resource

Goal → To further develop, its roll-out and dissemenation by translating the resource into Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. Additional goals are to create SCI workshops in South America and Asia.

Partners: International Spinal Cord Network (ISCoS), Asian Spinal Cord Network (ASCoN), Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), Livability Ireland, Lifetime Care and Support Scheme

Completed projects:

2012 - Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Management E-learning Resource

Goal → Large-scale educational program serving to improve professional treatment and understanding of spinal cord injuries through web-based tools (

Partners: International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS), Asian Spinal Cord Network (ASCoN), Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), Livability Ireland, Lifetime Care and Support Scheme

Results → Successful creation of  

Mexico Mexico Educating healthcare professionals specialized in ostomy care. Projects in Mexico

Projects in Mexico

Current projects

2013 - Improving Ostomy Care in Mexico

Goal Influence the Mexican healthcare system to improve the level of care given to current and future ostomates in Mexico through three pathways:
1. The creation of a national ostomy patient association to help ostomates get organized and give them a voice.
2. Building awareness and advocacy together with the Mexican Congress.
3. Update the clinical guidelines for ostomy care that were created in 2010. This step is to ensure the above initiatives reflect the best possible standards of care.

Partners Mexican Association for Comprehensive Care and Wound Healing (AMCICHAC: 'Asociación Méxicana para el Cuidado Integral y Cicatrización de Heridas A.C')  and Fleishmann Hillard (Public Affairs consultancy firm)

Completed projects

2010 - Ostomy Care Clinical Guidelines

Goal Advocacy in order to create and disseminate stoma care guidelines to professionals and decisions makers. Creation of the guidelines must be made in collaboration with professionals who can test the guidelines' applicability and promote them to a national policy level.

Partners Mexican Association for Comprehensive Care and Wound Healing (AMCICHAC: 'Asociación Méxicana para el Cuidado Integral y Cicatrización de Heridas A.C') and Fleishmann Hillard (Public Affairs consultancy firm)

Results → Successful creation of ostomy care clinical guidelines


2009 - Community Workshops and Scholarships

Goal → Master’s level education of a small team of nurses to build capacity across six Mexican regions as well as lower level education through workshops/seminars to a broader segment of healthcare users and professionals. The aim is to have 330 users and professionals participating in community workshops on stoma conditions and care.

Partners Universidad Panamericana (Nursing School) 

Results →  8 students graduated with an ET Master and seminar/workshop presentations reached 765 people across 6 different cities. The 6 regions covered by the project comprise 32% (in 2010) of national ostomy surgeries. 1/3 of patients in these areas have been to a seminar with one of the students and have learned more about ostomy treatment.

Poland Poland Raising standards of care by promoting high standard catheters. Projects in Poland


Current project

2014 - Promoting Intermittent Catheterization in Poland

 Goal  This project can be seen as a sequel to the previous Polish Access to Healthcare project in Poland. The core objective of the project is to promote and adoption of new guidelines for urinary incontinence that embrace HCIC as a new and improved standard of care. 

Partners: Polish Society of Urology 


Completed project

2013 - Promoting Intermittent Catheterization in Poland

Goal The project seeks to raise standards of care for Polish patients with urinary incontinence through the creation and acceptance of a new standard embracing hydrophilic coated intermittent catheters (HCIC) as the new gold standard for treatment of urinary incontinence in Poland.

Partners: Polish Society of Urology and Polish Association of Pediatric Surgeons

South Africa South Africa Different projects with focus on people with spinal cord injuries. Projects in South Africa

Projects in South Africa

Completed projects

2012 - South Africa Continence Care Awareness and Reimbursement – and Investigation

Goal → Provide training for healthcare professionals in order to build incontinence care awareness. Furthermore, the project seeks to create awareness among South African healthcare professionals on intermittent catheterization benefits for spinal cord injured patients. Finally, the project seeks to get in depth understanding of how new incontinence care standards can be covered within South Africa’s existing healthcare financing and reimbursement structures.

Partner: Quad Para Association of South Africa (leading association for patients with spinal chord injuries South Africa)

2008 - South Africa Workshop of Comprehensive Management of Spinal Cord Injury

Goal → 3 day training course with the goal of training 100 doctors and nurses in spinal cord injury management as part of the annual ISCoS conference.

Partner ISCoS (International Spinal Cord Association)

Results → Succesful roll-out of a three-day SCI course. 

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