The Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) has welcomed the report from the parliamentary inquiry into the Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia.
The report, 'Still waiting to be heard...', was recently tabled by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport.
Amongst its 22 recommendations, the committee has proposed a government-funded education and awareness raising campaign focused on national hearing health. It also recommends hearing health be made a National Health Priority Area and the extension of community service obligations to provide hearing services to hearing impaired Australians aged 26 to 65 years on low incomes or who are unemployed.
“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,” said HCIA CEO Donna Staunton.
“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,” added Ms Staunton.