The Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) welcomes the Australian parliament’s current focus on hearing health and calls on Government to declare hearing health a National Health Priority.
Australia has a long history of leading the world in hearing care. For example, in 1944 Government established the Acoustic Research Laboratory to investigate the effects of noise on military personnel; in 1947, its role was expanded to include the assessment and rehabilitation of children affected by the rubella epidemics; in 1946 Government started to provide hearing services to returning World War II veterans and school children and in 1968 the program was expanded once more to include social security pensioners. Today, the Government provides services to many more Australians however HCIA believes more can be done. We encourage:
Changes to the hearing services program to further improve its effectiveness; including –
- Reviewing the eligibility requirements to access the program, particularly for low income Australians of working age;
- Implementing a screening program for all Australians over the age of 50; and
- Funding an awareness and education campaign specifically aimed at young people.
Further investment in research to understand the link between hearing loss and other health related matters.
HCIA believes good policy should be evidence-based which is why it funded the Social and Economic Cost of Hearing Health in Australia – June 2017 prepared by Deloitte Access Economics (which updates and expands upon the 2006 Report by Deloitte on the Economic Impact of Hearing Loss in Australia).
HCIA works in conjunction with many of the key consumer and professional groups in hearing health. These groups also want to make a difference to the hearing health of Australians.