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Chime takes campaign for a National Hearing Care Plan to Leinster House.

Chime takes campaign for a National Hearing Care Plan to Leinster House.

Chime takes campaign for a National Hearing Care Plan to Leinster House.

On Nov 8th continued its campaign for a National Hearing Care Plan to be developed by the Department of Health by visiting Leinster House and offering hearing screening tests to Oireachtas members and staff. Chime spoke to over 30 TDs and Senators, while more than 10 of them had their hearing tested.

Ireland has a poor record of hearing care. We currently prescribe hearing aids at 60% of the level of the UK. In 2018 TILDA (The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing) found that only one in five people with hearing loss had hearing aids, while there are over 20,000 people on HSE waiting lists. As a result, Ireland has almost 250,000 people with unmanaged hearing loss.

Why is managing hearing loss important?

Unmanaged hearing loss is associated with significant health risks: 8% of dementia could be prevented through early management of hearing loss, while an additional 50,000 are depressed and isolated because they haven’t had their hearing tested. Research has shown that getting hearing aids largely eliminate these risks.

In fact the World Health Organisation have estimated that for every €1 invested in hearing care, Governments can expect a return of €16 over the following 10 years in reduced healthcare costs and increased productivity.

What would a National Hearing Care plan do?

A national plan would support people to address their hearing loss earlier and ensure that people received a good quality of care. For example, it would reduce HSE waiting lists and would introduce basic regulations for hearing care. Currently 75% of hearing aids are provided by the private sector where there are no standards or regulations in place.

A national plan would also educate the public on hearing care issues and help to reduce the stigma associated with hearing loss. It would also save hundreds of millions of euro every year in healthcare costs.  

What does Chime want politicians to do?

The Minister for Health has agreed that we need an ‘agreed model of care’ for hearing care. But progress on getting this plan in place is painfully slow. So Chime has been lobbying other politicians, particularly members of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, to put pressure on the Department to deliver a national plan as soon as possible.

Want to learn more?

Watch our video here.

Check out our campaign leaflet here.