On Tuesday 28 June 2016, the ABC broadcast a feature story on its national AM program, hosted by Michael Bressenden. Reporter Simon Galletta highlighted the difficulties some people face with the cost of hearing aids.
The story suggested that the hearing services sector is completely unregulated. Personally, I don’t think regulation would make any difference.
As the recent ATSE winner of the Clunies Ross Award for my work in hearing and improving access to hearing aids, I make the following comments:
- I don’t quite understand Louise’s case. Profoundly deaf from birth, she should have been looked after well by Australian Hearing until she was 26. From then, if she was on a Pension, she would have been either offered entry level hearing aids for free or required to pay a gap for more highly featured devices. If she is profoundly deaf, she should have been offered a cochlear implant, which is available in Australia on the public system.
- The hearing aid industry in Australia is an interesting mix of cross subsidies and vertically integrated global retail chains. Please take a minute to watch this Clunies Ross video (below) to see what one visionary entrepreneur is doing to correct this, by running an Australian profit for purpose company and bringing the hearing aid industry into Australia
- We have issues to sort out, but one of the most important things is that people use hearing aids as soon as possible.
I’m more than happy to help advise Louise and help her find an affordable outcome. I can’t sell her hearing aids for fear of looking opportunist, but everyone else reading can see that there are more affordable alternatives. We have a Premium quality high powered hearing aid for a third of the price Louise has been quoted.