HCIA Submission to the House of Representatives Inquiry into Hearing Health and Wellbeing in Australia

HCIA makes the following points in summary:

  • We support Hearing Health being a National Health Priority for Australia,
  • We recommend adoption of the recommendations contained within the 2010 Senate report titled ‘Hear Us’, in particular Recommendations 2,4 and 20,
  • We encourage Government to continue to invest in research to further understand the link between hearing loss and other health related matters,
  • While Australia’s Hearing Services program is very good, we believe changes could be made to further improve its effectiveness, including;
  • Eligibility requirements to access the program should be reviewed, particularly for low income people of working age;
  • Funding an awareness and education campaign specifically aimed at young people, and
  • Implementing a screening program for all Australians over the age of 50.
  • We would be concerned about making unnecessary changes to the Government’s Hearing Services Program as this could be detrimental to those it now services,
  • The non-utilisation of hearing aids supplied under the Hearing Services Program has declined substantially in recent years,
  • Consumer choice is an extremely important element of the Hearing Services Program,
  • The Hearing Services Program has an extremely low level of consumer compliant,
  • There is substantial and unrealised opportunity for prevention of hearing loss, particularly amongst teenagers,
  • There is a danger of substantial market distortion if Australian Hearing is moved from Government ownership, other than at a fair market value,
  • The area is substantially constrained by workforce issues. This will be worsened by recently announced VET Fee Help changes to audiometry training, and
  • The notion of the GP as the gatekeeper to the Hearing Services Program is outdated; a waste of money and is being jettisoned by comparable countries.

To read the full submission to the House of Representatives Inquiry into Hearing Health and Wellbeing in Australia click here:
Sub030 Hearing Care Industry Association and for the attachments: Sub030 HCIA Attachment ASub030 HCIA Attachment BSub030 HCIA Attachment CSub030 HCIA Attachment D