Government Responds to ‘Waiting To Be Heard’

HCIA welcomes the Australian Government’s response to the parliamentary inquiry into Hearing Health and Wellbeing and its report, Still Waiting to be Heard.

In its submission to the inquiry (#30), HCIA made a number of suggestions to improve hearing services in Australia which include:

  • Improving eligibility, particularly for low income people of working age to keep them engaged and contributing to national productivity,
  • Funding awareness and prevention measures specifically aimed at young people; and
  • Implementing a national screening program for all Australians over the age of 50.

HCIA will continue to pursue these and other opportunities through its participation on the Government’s newly established Hearing Sector Committee, charged with developing the first ever Hearing Health Roadmap for Australia – a work program for government that gives hearing health greater priority.

HCIA is also pleased that Ministers Wyatt and Hunt recently placed Hearing Health on the COAG Health Minister’s agenda and workplan, and announced new measures to improve the hearing health of indigenous Australians. There is an opportunity to encourage public health campaigns that destigmatise hearing loss and encourage those hard of hearing to seek early assistance.

The Government’s response to the ‘Waiting to be Heard’ report is available here.

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Contact: Donna Edman, COO Hearing Care Industry Association 0419 850174

 

 

Hearing Inquiry Listens – Now is the Opportunity for Government to Act

The Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) welcomes the Report from the parliamentary Inquiry into the Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia. Entitled, “Still waiting to be heard…”, the report was tabled today by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport.

“HCIA has long-championed several recommendations contained in this Report, and we commend the Committee, particularly its Chair, Mr Trent Zimmerman MP and co-Chair, Mr Steve Georganas MP for their excellent work, informed by the economic analysis HCIA commissioned from Deloitte Access Economics,” HCIA CEO Donna Staunton said.

We are particularly pleased about the following recommendations:

#6 The Department of Health…develop and implement an education and awareness raising campaign focused on national hearing health.

#11 The Community Service Obligations program be extended to provide hearing services to hearing impaired Australians aged 26 to 65 years on low incomes or who are unemployed and qualify for lower income support or the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset; and

#22 Hearing health is made a National Health Priority Area.

“We thank this Committee for listening carefully to the many voices calling for action to support the needs of those with hearing loss in the community. The Committee has reflected beautifully on the recommendations made in a significant 2010 Senate Community Affairs References Committee Report – but now it is the time to get it done.

“We strongly encourage Government to enact these recommendations, given Australia currently has 3.6 million people affected by some form of hearing impairment and, by 2060, it is estimated that this will increase to 7.8 million,” Ms Staunton said.

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Contact: Donna Staunton, CEO Hearing Care Industry Association 0413 185 724

HCIA Media Statement 14 September 2017