The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Indigenous Health
Member for Hasluck
22 December 2017
Hearing Services Review Aims to Improve Client Care
Today, the Minister responsible for hearing services, Ken Wyatt AM, released the findings of the Review of Services and Technology Supply under the Government’s Hearing Services Program (HSP).
“The report contains 12 findings and 13 recommendations aimed at ensuring we have a sustainable, client-focused delivery model that provides quality outcomes and meets the needs of Australians who require hearing support,” Minister Wyatt said.
“We will consider the recommendations on their merits and give them careful consideration.”
The Minister said the report touched on a variety of service models from around the world.
“While our program is already seen as meeting international standards, we will take global innovation into account as we will look to develop an Australian model that builds on world’s best practise,” said Minister Wyatt.
Building on a strong system
“I am determined not to undermine a very strong system that helps hundreds of thousands of Australians but that does not mean there are not areas where we can improve.”
The Turnbull Government is continuing its focus on ensuring all Australians in need of hearing help can access appropriate care and support, when and where they need it.
Minister Wyatt said the Government was particularly keen to ensure that people moving to the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can continue to receive help.
“We want to see people living with hearing loss better connected to support, regardless of where they live and regardless of whether they use the NDIS or the HSP,” Minister Wyatt said.
PWC report timely
“The review, undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, was timely as some HSP clients will soon transition to the NDIS.
“The purpose of the review was to evaluate how we can support a whole-of-government approach to providing hearing services and the latest assistive hearing technologies.
“When some of the current users of the HSP begin to transition to the NDIS, it will be vitally important to ensure there is as little disruption as possible.”
Minister Wyatt said the review was first comprehensive analysis service and technology under the HSP since its inception in 1997.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to getting the best result and has consulted widely with the hearing services sector, consumer groups and health professionals,” the Minister said.
“We will continue to work closely with stakeholders as we evaluate the review.”
Part of a broader issue
The review will be considered in context of recent significant recent hearing inquiries and reviews, including the House of Representatives Standing Committee Inquiry into Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia, the interim report of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Issues around the sale of hearing aids and the Hearing Care Industry Association’s The Social and Economic Cost of Hearing Loss and Hearing Health Conditions in Australia.
The findings of the review are available on the Hearing Services Program website http://www.hearingservices.gov.au/