It didn’t get much media coverage, but the recent announcement by the Government that they are increasing funding for cochlear implants for one year is a welcome one.
I sat on the Health select committee when the NZ Cochlear Implant Consumer Group made a very powerful submission, well supported by research and evidence, in support of the petition.
We heard from a couple whose relationship came under significant stress when one of them lost their hearing, and how, with an implant their quality of their relationship had improved significantly.
We also heard from a young woman describing how she had been able to get a job following an implant.
All adults who will benefit from a cochlear implant should be funded to receive an implant. It enables these people to re-engage in the community and access employment opportunities.
Sadly, there are more than 180 people on the waiting list. So while the (one off increase in funding) from 20 to 60 adults is great, we are still a long way from meeting the need that is out there.