More Support Needed For Kiwis Living With Hearing Loss

03 March 2017

More funding is needed to support kiwis living with hearing loss, says New Zealand First.


“Kiwis living with hearing loss are being short changed by National, through the lack of funding for support services,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.


“Today is World Hearing Day and it’s a perfect opportunity for National to step up and address the social and economic impact of hearing loss in our community by funding support services.


“A report by the National Foundation for the Deaf found that the economy is losing $552.5m every year due to reduced unemployment, absenteeism and reduced productivity.


“The government should be looking at increasing the funding for services that help people with hearing loss to live productive lives. This includes funding more cochlear implant procedures.


“Those waiting to receive cochlear implants often face social isolation, depression, relationship breakdowns, and find it difficult to continue to work. 


“An increase in funding of these procedures is an upfront investment but it is one that pays for itself further along the line in benefit payments and further health costs.


“Not adequately funding hearing loss is another example of National’s ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ mentality,” says Mrs Stewart.