CALL TO ACTION – HEARING HEALTH & WELL BEING INQUIRY

Dear SHHH Friend,

We need your help!! Please write to your local MP about the current Inquiry into Hearing Health and Wellbeing.

I write to seek your assistance and ask you to write to your local MP to highlight the impact of hearing loss in the local community – a draft template can be downloaded here for your assistance.

As you know, SHHH tendered a submission to the Hearing Health & Wellbeing Inquiry which represented the interests of our members across the country. To support our submission and the representations made by consumer groups at the subsequent public hearings we would like letters to be sent to MPs in May.

In its submission, SHHH highlighted the need for a greater focus on hearing management and rehabilitation and their impact on the quality of life of those effected, as well as  the role that consumer groups like SHHH, Better Hearing Australia (BHA) and Whirled Foundation (WF)) play to support people with hearing and balance conditions. A Policy paper will shortly be developed by the three groups to show our collaboration and common ground.

Last time there was a Parliamentary Inquiry into hearing health in 2010 nothing happened – lots of nice words, but essentially no real changes.

The program continues to be shaped by hearing aid providers (with potential commercial interests) who are not accountable for hearing outcomes. Why are consumers still not invited to be directly part of shaping future programs?

There is a lot of potential in the Commonwealth Hearing Services Program – but also a lot of wastage. The Commonwealth program is simply focused on the distribution of hearing aids. Consumers need service providers who are accountable for hearing health outcomes, not just distributing and/or selling hearing aids.

The ACCC released a report on World Hearing Day, 5th March, which highlighted what people like SHHH members already know. That is, hearing aids are expensive and are often not used. High amounts of wastage means that tax payer money is not being used as best as it could (30% of hearing aids are abandoned representing $100MIL being wasted every year).

Unsupported hearing loss and balance disorders are linked with isolation, depression, falls and cognitive decline.

We need your help!

Please write to your local Federal member and ask for a meeting. It’s been my experience that MPs are eager to meet with local residents and show local action.

Please encourage your local MP to contact the Minister and their colleagues on the Parliamentary Committee to listen to the peak consumer groups such as SHHH Australia Inc, Better Hearing Australia (BHA) and Whirled Foundation.

Better Hearing Australia and Whirled Foundation have asked their members to also write letters; –imagine the collective impact we would have if all members wrote to local MPs!!

Call to action – please put aside a small amount of your time in early May to write a letter to your local MP. Share your story and influence the way hearing and related services are shaped in the future. Spread the word and encourage others to write too.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Hunter
SHHH President, in partnership with BHA and Whirled Foundation
www.shhhaust.org
Hillview Community Health Centre, 1334 Pacific Hwy, Turramurra NSW 2074
Ph (02)9144 7586
Fax: (02) 91443936

email

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