On World Hearing Day, the Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) welcomes the Australian Government’s 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.
- Further investment in research to understand the link between hearing loss and other health related matters,
- 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;
- Funding an awareness and education campaign specifically aimed at young people, and
- implementing a screening program for all Australians over the age of 50.
HCIA believes good policy should be evidence based and therefore HCIA has funded an update of a 2006 Report by Deloittes on the Economic Impact of Hearing Loss in Australia. The report will be available shortly.
“We are also proud of our ongoing work on accreditation of our industry and we are happy to have made the investment to develop a national campaign called 5@50 which encourages people over the age of 50 to ask 5 questions in relation to their hearing.
Unlike other screening services Australians don’t have a trigger to prompt them to think about hearing loss.
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.
Chief Executive Officer