HCIA welcomes the first Hearing Health Roadmap

HCIA welcomes the first ever national Hearing Health Roadmap endorsed today by all COAG Health Ministers.

“HCIA applauds the creation of a Roadmap to chart a concerted set of actions for all stakeholders to advance the hearing health of Australians. In particular, we would like to thank Minister Wyatt for his championship and the contributions of stakeholders from across the hearing health sector and Department of Health,” HCIA Chairman, Mr Ashley Wilson AM said.

“HCIA members take pride in how they provide client care to thousands of hearing impaired Australians each year. But there is more to be done to ensure those in need gain access to information, hearing health technology and rehabilitation services vital to their ability to communicate effectively with their families, community, and be productive workers. That is why HCIA was an active participant at the table and sponsored economic analysis of the economic and social costs of hearing loss that informed the deliberations. What Australians now require is ongoing political bipartisanship and the resources to be applied to realise Roadmap outcomes.

“It is also fitting that this historic initiative has been realised as part of Hearing Awareness Week 2019,” Mr Wilson said.

The Roadmap is divided into six themes or ‘domains’ that include actions to address: full inclusion of people who are deaf or hard of hearing into the Australian community; the catastrophic levels of ear disease amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians; avoidable hearing loss; the earliest possible detection of hearing loss; informed relationships between consumers and providers of hearing devices and services; and the requirements of a growing and trusted professional and volunteer workforce.

A copy of the Hearing Health Roadmap will be on the Department of Health website at www.health.gov.au/

About HCIA: The Hearing Care Industry Association represents private providers of hearing devices and services for hundreds of thousands of hearing impaired Australians nationally. HCIA’s members help clients make informed choices about their hearing and provide them with excellent care. HCIA’s vision is to serve the Australian community by facilitating the delivery of world-class hearing healthcare to all Australians. HCIA has at the core of its mission to help all Australians who are suffering from hearing loss achieve a better quality of life.

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

Hearing businesses are well regulated

“HCIA members operate professional hearing health care clinics across Australia and are subject to substantial regulations relating to the devices they provide, the way in which they are prescribed, the health professionals they employ and the services they deliver. Australian consumer law is part of the industry’s regulatory framework to which all members must comply,” said HCIA Chairman, Mr Ashley Wilson.

“HCIA members take pride in how they provide client care which is reflected in a complaint rate of less than one per cent, one of the lowest of any health-related service provision from the many thousands of hearing aid consultations performed each year1. We employ health professionals to ensure our clients are assessed and fitted by accredited specialists, we provide a 30-60 day cooling off period so our clients can ensure they are satisfied with the device, our warranties can last up to three years and we provide ongoing care,” he said.

HCIA encourages all consumers to refer to the Australian Government’s guidance on purchasing hearing aids to ensure that they are aware of all aspects of this health care service.

“Australians’ confidence and trust in the hearing health industry is paramount. HCIA continues to work closely with the hearing care sector to maintain public confidence and to support industry-wide understanding of consumer law,” Mr Wilson said. “I would like to encourage commentators to help promote existing consumer protections and explore the motivations of some who seek to undermine public confidence in our industry,” he said.

About HCIA: The Hearing Care Industry Association represents private providers of hearing devices and services for hundreds of thousands of hearing impaired Australians nationally. HCIA’s members help clients make informed choices about their hearing and provide them with excellent care. HCIA’s vision is to serve the Australian community by facilitating the delivery of world-class hearing healthcare to all Australians. HCIA has at the core of its mission to help all Australians who are suffering from hearing loss achieve a better quality of life.

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Contact: Donna Edman,
COO Hearing Care Industry Association 0419 850 174

Download this Media Release (PDF) or as Word DOCX

1 For example, a public survey actively promoted by the ACCC elicited just 59 responses from consumers. Nevertheless, HCIA supports the ACCC in encouraging consumers and clinicians to contact the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 to report any specific consumer protection concerns about the sale of hearing aids.

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